An incomplete record of the ongoing trial of a woman, accused of killing her six-month-old son by throwing him on the ground, thereby fracturing his skull, has caused a pause in the trial.
Priscilla Daukeline Stuurman (31) was informed yesterday by High Court Judge Claudia Claasen that the court is trying to recover part of the record.
“Although the trial is in its final stages of conclusion, we discovered that some evidence was not transcribed because the recording machine malfunctioned. We are now trying to reconstruct the record,” explained Claasen.
Thus, the court postponed the case to 5 July to reconstruct the court record, so the matter may proceed to closing arguments.
Stuurman is being tried on a charge of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act
It is alleged by the State that Stuurman intentionally killed baby Stiaan Cidio Stuurman by hitting his head on the ground, causing his skull to fracture, leading to his death a day later.
According to the indictment, on 23 December 2019, the accused expressed to witnesses she will kill the victim, and refused to breastfeed the infant.
It is further alleged that during the evening hours of the same night, she fractured the baby’s skull by hitting his head multiple times on the ground, whereafter she reported to neighbours that she murdered the infant.
The victim died the next day due to multiple intracranial bleeds caused by the assault on him.
According to Stuurman, the incident happened while she was busy breastfeeding the child and stood up to smoke outside.
In her plea, she indicated that it was very dark in the room, and during that time, she stumbled because of the alcohol she had consumed.
The victim then fell out of her arms onto the sand surface.
“I picked up the victim and lay him outside, and ran to the house of Lena Orr for help,” she explained.
Orr has passed on.
One of the State witnesses, Estina Hanse, testified that Stuurman did not want the child, and regularly left him abandoned for hours – and that she often refused to breastfeed him.
Stuurman is being represented by Milton Engelbrecht, while Taodago Gaweseb is prosecuting for the state.