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Alleged baby killers incorrectly charged

The parents accused of killing a baby were charged in terms of outdated legislation, the court heard.

Marissa Rudman and Nolan Schoeman are accused of beating their two-month-old son to death in 2009. Picture: Stock.xchang

PRETORIA - The State on Tuesday asked the judge to amend the charge sheet in the baby Wade murder trial after it emerged that the accused had been incorrectly charged in terms of outdated legislation.

Marissa Rudman (36) and Nolan Schoeman (32) allegedly beat their two-month-old son to death in 2009.

Their trial continued in the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday.

State prosecutor Cornelia Harmzen said the accused were charged in terms of the Children's Act, instead of the amended Child Care Act.

She asked that the charge sheet be changed accordingly.

The most recent law has a broader definition of child abuse and imposes a heavier mandatory sentence.

Lawyers for Rudman and Schoeman opposed the request, arguing that if their clients were to be convicted, it would be for an act which is not considered an offence in terms of the legislation.

However, Judge Cynthia Pretorius pointed out that the accused did plead to the charges and that defence lawyers should have picked up the error.

Pretorius said she will deliver her decision when the matter returns to court at the end of May.

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