UPDATE: Springs Monster case continues – evidence questioned

Stock image.

As the case developed on Monday, the Springs Monster was described as: “A master manipulator who committed criminal acts without remorse.”

October 11

The case of the Springs Monster and his wife, who stand accused of multiple charges including alleged drug dealing, severe abuse and neglect of their children and failing to send their children to school has once again been postponed.

The matter will not resume in the High Court in Pretoria tomorrow (Thursday), but will continue on Friday.

October 10

After forensic criminologist Dr Pixie du Toit’s testimony on Monday, the state prosecutor Jennifer Cronje stated on Tuesday morning the depression diagnosis of the Springs mother was problematic as it was made by a forensic criminologist and not a psychologist.

According to court reporter from the Caxton newspaper, Ilse de Lange, the state says some of the tests used by the Dr Pixie du Toit could only be used by psychologists who had been trained for almost seven years.

De Lange has been covering the trial of the Springs Monster and his wife which resumed in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

The state sharply attacked the evidence of du Toit who implied, in her testimony on behalf of the woman, that the accused may not be accountable for her actions, including the neglect of her children.

The Springs couple stand accused of severely abusing their five children, drug dealing and failing to send the older children to school as well as attempting to murder their 11-year-old son.

They pleaded not guilt to the charges.

Du Toit testified the 39-year-old woman was also a victim of her abusive husband.

On Tuesday, prosecutor Jennifer Cronje accused the criminologist of transgressing into the specialty field of psychology by using psychological tests she was not supposed to have in her possession, and breaking the law.

She says some of these tests could only be used by psychologists who had been trained for seven years.

Do Toit says she trained in America on how to use some of the tests and had used them as part of her forensic evaluation for many years

She also says her methods have never been questioned and she has never pretended to be a psychologist.

She admitted she recommended depression treatment for the woman, although she has no training to diagnose depression.

Du Toit admits she said the woman has symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and Stockholm syndrome, but denies diagnosing the mother.

She also admitted she didn’t test the mother’s intelligence quotient (IQ), but referred in her report to the mother’s dyslexia and “low intellect”, which might influence her accountability.

The trial continues.

October 9

A forensic criminologist Dr Pixie du Toit told the court the 39-year-old mother of the children was also a victim of her abusive husband.

Court reporter for Caxton’s The Citizen newspaper, Ilse de Lange, who was in court, reports the criminologist testified in the trial of the couple for their alleged drug dealing, severe abuse and neglect of their children and failing to send their children to school.

The couple is facing several charges involving the alleged abuse and neglect of their five children, then aged between three and 16.

They are also facing a charge of attempted murder on their 11-year-old son, who was severely assaulted by the man.

The couple pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Du Toit testified the woman had to endure regular beatings from her husband who gave her electric shocks, and was forced to commit sexual acts with prostitutes in front of him.

The court also heard he threw her out of the house naked.

Du Toit described the father as a master manipulator who committed criminal acts without remorse.

Although the mother had a responsibility to report the abuse of her children, her family had not helped her or informed her of her responsibilities.

The criminologist also testified it was psychologically impossible for the woman to leave her husband as her behaviour was typical of Stockholm syndrome, long-term abuse which creates dependency.

The case is ongoing.

The couple was arrested on May 24, 2014, the day after the boy escaped from his parents’ house and ran to their neighbours.

On July 4, 2014, the woman was granted bail which has been extended.

However, the man remains in custody at Modderbee Prison.

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