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Assaulted boy still in ICU

Hussein Molla being escorted out of court yesterday PIC: KAGISO ONKATSWITSE
A Princess Marina Hospital medical doctor has told the Broadhurst magistrate court that a boy who was assaulted by a Bangladeshi national is suffering from a depressed level of consciousness.

Doctor Chise was this week summoned before the court by magistrate Faith Ngandu to give a detailed report on the condition of Ditiro Jerry, who has been in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for the past three weeks.

Mahommed Hussein Molla is accused of assaulting the 12-year-old Jerry on June 13, 2016 by hitting his forehead against the wall leaving him critically injured. Her testimony was needed to assist the court in determining whether the accused deserved bail. When giving testimony, the doctor told the court that the victim was under her care from June 22 to 30, 2016.

She told the court that the patient has been in a critical condition and was supported by a breathing machine. She told the court that when one is in a depressed level of consciousness, he cannot walk on his own, cannot talk and cannot open his eyes spontaneously.

“I passed by this morning to see how he is doing and he is still in ICU and supported by a breathing machine although I didn’t examine him,” she said.

She told the court that she could not tell whether the child’s condition would improve. She said a team of neurosurgeons, paediatricians, and specialist doctors are monitoring the condition of the victim.

Although the prosecution had previously not opposed the accused’s bail application, it changed stating that he must be further remanded in custody until such time the patient’s condition improves and investigations are complete.

Defence counsel argued that the accused should be given bail because he is a heart patient who should take his medicine regularly. He pleaded with the court to

grant bail on strict conditions or even house arrest. He said in the event he is granted bail he could surrender his passport. The defence counsel also argued that keeping the accused in custody on allegations that he assaulted the boy would be prejudicial because the doctor’s report is not clear on what caused the injuries.

However, Ngandu denied the accused bail saying that the doctor’s report painted a picture that the victim is in a very serious condition. She said the argument submitted by the defence counsel (heart problem) is outweighed by the condition of the victim who is in ICU. “I say in comparison, the accused can’t be compared to that of the victim who is in ICU. The accused is able to walk, he is standing here in court, came on his own and can take his own medication.

“The accused in comparison may receive medical attention as the need would arise anytime, anywhere without assistance from the machine,” she said.

She said that Section 108 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act is clear that in case where a doubt may arise concerning the degree and quality of injury foretold whether the victim would die or recover, judicial officer may refuse to grant bail until danger to the life of the injured is ended. She said it is possible that the victim could die and this would mean the charge would change to murder. She also said that this could be a good reason for the accused to abscond since he is a foreigner.

The case will continue on July 21, 2016.




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