Rest in Peace Baby Michael
Since 2003, no justice for Baby Michael in his short life time, sadly passed away on the 16 October 2011 – physically abused by his parents and rendered quadriplegic before he turned six months old!
‘Women And Men Against Child Abuse will be protesting at the Johannesburg Regional on the 21 November when the trial for the attempted murder of Baby Michael resumes after countless postponements and devious plots by the accused and their legal representatives to get the accused off the hook’, says Kevin Barbeau, Executive Director of Women And Men Against Child Abuse.
Michael’s parents Bradley Connor and Malinda Marshall, both now 26, will return to the dock where each will face double charges of attempted murder, alternatively assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, alternatively a new charge under the Child Care Act – causing Michael to sustain bruises to the body and/ or severe brain injury and/or retinal haemorrhages.
‘It’s been a near eight year battle to get justice for baby Michael, now deceased. This poor little boy was condemned to life in an institution, confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak, see or move’, says Kevin. ‘WMACA will be at the court to highlight how this little boy has been failed by those who should have protected him, his parents, social workers and our justice system. Not only does WMACA demand a conviction and strict sentence for the two accused but we will also be present in support of State Advocate Carina Coetzee who has intervened personally in the court proceedings to ensure that Michael’s abusers will be prosecuted. We applaud Carina for relentlessly fighting to see justice for the little boy,’ says Kevin.
‘WMACA at the same time sympathises with the ‘new’ children of Michael’s mother who will surely suffer as a result of the court proceedings. Had our courts managed this case effectively in 2003 – these children would not now be subjected to such tragedy’, says Vicentia Dlamini, WMACA Kidz Clinic Manager, Orange Farm.
Child Welfare White River confirmed and reported to us that Malinda Marshall’s is married and her two children are ‘doing well and are fine’.
In November 2003, baby Michael was admitted to the emergency ward of Johannesburg Hospital bruised, blind and brain damaged. It wasn’t the first time he had been hospitalized – a month earlier his parents had brought him to the hospital, claiming the infant was injured after falling against a stereo.
‘His parents, Malinda Marshall and Bradley Connor, both 18 years old at the time, have escaped conviction for attempted murder due to shameful manipulation of the legal system and countless postponements, since 2003’, says Germaine Vogel, Advocacy Manager for Women And Men Against Child Abuse. ‘WMACA is hoping the court will also exercise the Criminal Procedures Act Section 342(a) to prosecute those responsible for all the postponements in this trial. Furthermore, we expect the court to hold those accountable for failing Baby Michael to be held responsible for paying for victim compensation due to the Ikhaya Tini Vorster home, where Baby Michael spent four years and the Avril Elizabeth Home where he spent the rest of his short life’.