A PAEDIATRIC registrar at a Christchurch clinic in New Zealand has told a court that a 10-year-old Zimbabwean girl brought to the facility in January 2007 had abnormal injuries to her genitalia.
Melanie England was one of a number of medics who tried to save Charlene Makaza’s life at Christchurch Hospital.
Charlene’s uncle, George Gwaze, 60, is standing re-trial at the Christchurch High Court charged with a violent sexual attack and murder of his niece.In a debrief after Charlene had been taken to hospital, she had mentioned the unusual ease with which the suppositories were inserted, and Dr Graeme Carpenter had said "we might be dealing with some sort of sexual abuse''.
Later that day she had spoken to hospital staff, who said they had found a large rectal tear.
Desmond Niall O'Regan, an anaesthetist, said he was called to Christchurch Hospital to help resuscitate Charlene.
Scans were done to check whether Charlene's symptoms were because of free air in her abdomen or a brain abscess. He was concerned about a discharge from her ear, he said.
Both scans showed neither complication existed. Charlene coughed when he changed her breathing tube, which showed her brain was still working at a basic level.
Charlene was suffering from pulmonary oedema (fluid in the lungs), he said.http://www.zimdiaspora.com/index.php...nal&Itemid=342Charlene died on January 7. The defence says Charlene became unwell at the family home in Bryndwr on January 5 and later died of toxic shock caused by her HIV infection.
Gwaze and his wife adopted Charlene and her sister Charmaine when their parents died one after the other in 1998 and 2000 in Zimbabwe.
The trial entered its second week on Monday. The jury has so far heard from Gwaze's wife and four of his adult children during the first five days of evidence.
Both articles are long . Charlene died in the hospital , she had abnormal injuries to her genitalia , and a rectal tear . Her uncle is charged with sexually attacking her . The expert for the defense is saying all her injuries can be caused by the HIV process .Defence witness Professor Sebastian Lucas, a clinical histopathologist at Kings College, London School of Medicine, told the court he had a special interest in HIV and infectious disease and continued to undertake autopsies. He was doing about one autopsy a week where the deceased had HIV but he had no experience of sexual abuse.
In his view, Charlene had died when her system collapsed suddenly due to her developing HIV infection, Lucas said.
"Whilst the body can cope with progressive, untreated HIV...there comes a point when it is overwhelmed... and this results in a clinical collapse. The unresponsiveness evident on January 6, with diarrhoea is, in my opinion consistent with this final collapse.''
He did not think it necessary to "postulate an abusive process'' for Charlene's injuries.
"It is medically explicable on the basis of overwhelming untreated HIV disease and its complications.''