'My dad said he was going to break my mom's neck': Angelique's son, 8, tells court
“My dad said he was going to break my mom’s neck and bury her.”
These chilling words came from Angelique Clarke-Abrahams and Carl Abrahams’s eight-year-old son, who witnessed the beating that put his mother in hospital in August 2019, only for her to succumb to those injuries days later.
The words brought the Clarke family to tears in the high court gallery in East London on Thursday — the third day of the trial.
During testimony, the boy sat with a sworn-in intermediary who is an expert in child and youth care in a separate room from the court proceedings.
Abrahams is on trial for the murder of his wife, Angelique, and for breaching a protection order.
Angelique had applied for a protection against Abrahams and filed for divorce on August 20.
On August 22, she laid a criminal charge against Abrahams.
On August 29, after a fatal beating witnessed by her son, Angelique was admitted to hospital. She died on September 3.
The boy delivered his testimony through a TV screen that had video and audio.
His name will not be mentioned to protect his identity.
The boy told the court how his father beat his mom.
“My dad was holding her mouth closed. He pushed my mom onto the couch,” the boy said.
“I saw my dad’s hands choking my mom,” he said.
“He choked her again for two minutes then put his arms around her,” the boy said, before demonstrating how Angelique was on her knees while Abrahams had her in a chokehold.
He said Abrahams had dragged his wife on her knees to the bedroom, the court heard.
“He put her on the bed ... He took her clothes off,” the boy said.
In 2019, DispatchLIVE reported that Abrahams was charged with rape and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
A murder charge was added after Angelique succumbed to her injuries.
He has been out on R2,000 bail since December 2019.
The boy said he ran out the house and told a man he saw outside that: “My dad is killing my mother.”
He said Abrahams had followed him outside but when confronted had said that his wife was sleeping.
“Inside, dad was covering my mom with blankets. Then I watched TV,” he said.
The boy said he had told his “ouma” what had happened.
On August 31 2019, the boy made a statement to the police.
The next witness was Marion Peake, founder of a non-profit organisation that works with vulnerable and abused women and children.
Through text messengers read to the court, it was revealed that Angelique had sought counsel from Peake about her marital troubles.
On August 16 2019, Angelique had been rushed to hospital after a beating.
“She sent me a picture of herself and her neck had red marks. She wrote how Carl had strangled her. I advised her to get a protection order immediately.” Peake said.
That day, Peake spoke to Abrahams on Facebook Messenger.
“I told him to stay where he was before someone was killed from anger and rage. He said ... he was addicted to her,” Peake said.
Peake told the court she had asked Abrahams not to oppose Angelique’s request for a divorce.
“He told me life had no meaning without her,” she said.
Peake said she advised Abrahams to block her out of his mind.
Carmen Meek was the last witness to take the stand .
Meek, Angelique’s cousin, said she and her husband had spoken to Abrahams on August 29.
“One of Angelique’s friends sent me a message to say she was in hospital and was hurt
“I was concerned about Angelique’s son’s whereabouts. No-one had heard from him the whole day so we called Carl,” Meek said.
She said that Abrahams had admitted choking Clarke-Abrahams but denied beating her.
Meek’s husband, Aldridge, testified in court on Wednesday.
Council for the accused, Mark Botha, argued that their testimonies were fabricated because of a conflict of time on when the call to Abrahams took place.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.