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Jeremiah Ruiters’s mother refuses to look at the toddler’s autopsy pictures

Abigail Ruiters is facing charges under the Children's Act and is also accused of murder and child neglect.

FILE: Ameerudien Peters (right), who raped and murdered toddler Jeremiah Ruiters, is pictured with the child's mother Abigail Ruiters (in red) in the Western Cape High Court on 5 November 2019. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The mother of a deceased toddler refused to look at autopsy photos on Wednesday.

Abigail Ruiters is facing charges under the Children's Act and is also accused of murder and child neglect.

Her ex-boyfriend Ameerudien Peters - who has already testified - is accused of raping and murdering 18-month-old Jeremiah Ruiters in Factreton, Cape Town, in June 2017.

During cross-examination, an emotional Ruiters said she could not bear to look at photos of her dead child.

Prosecutor Maria Marshall explained the photographs have been entered as evidenced before the court that she must comment on.

Judge Monde Samela asked Marshall to present the photo evidence to the accused all at once to try to minimise the emotional trauma.

Asked about a series of mostly old and healing injuries on her child's head, under his chin, in and around his mouth, as well as on his shoulders, arms and tummy — Ruiters responds by saying she does not know how her son sustained them.

The prosecutor states many of them were “glaringly obvious”.

In the dock, Peters seems angry at times as he shakes his head and fiddles with a string of green prayer beads wrapped around his hand.