18 July 2018

South Africa: Couple Accused of Murdering 18-Month-Old Jeremiah Ruiters Face New Child Neglect Charges

Additional charges have been added in the case against a Cape Town couple accused of murdering 18-month-old Jeremiah Ruiters.

The new charges relate to the alleged abuse and neglect of the little boy's siblings.

Jeremiah's mother Abigail Ruiters and her boyfriend Ameerodien Peters were arrested when he was declared dead at Factreton Clinic on June 12, 2017.

Older injuries on the toddler's body prompted police to visit the family home in Kensington.

During the visit, it was allegedly discovered that Ruiters' two daughters, aged three and eight, were in a state of neglect.

According to the State's Summary of Facts: "The three children (Jeremiah and his sisters) often presented as dirty and unkept. At times, they were left at home without supervision."

Allegations contained in the document include that the older daughter had missed school on several occasions, causing her to repeat a grade. A teacher also had to discuss the older daughter's hygiene and absenteeism with her biological father, Wesley Timms, the document further revealed.

Peters also allegedly choked the younger daughter, using his bare hands.

It was also noted that the premises were "unkept, dirty and with dangerous objects lying around," according to the Summary of Facts.

Both Ruiters and Peters have been charged with murder and charges in terms of the Children's Act, while Peters faces an additional charge for the alleged rape of Jeremiah.

The little boy died as result of blunt or sharp force to his head. However, the cause of death is cited as "multiple injuries and the consequences thereof", due to the older scars on his body.

The accused are expected to appear in the Western Cape High Court at a later date.

Source: News24

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