HIV 'did not explain' Charlene's injuries

00:39, May 11 2012
claire doocey
EVIDENCE: Clare Doocey gives evidence during the trial of George Gwaze.

Charlene Makaza's HIV infection did not explain her injuries, a paediatrician has told a court.
George Evans Gwaze, 60, a former vet in Zimbabwe, is charged with sodomising and murdering his niece, Charlene, 10, in her bed in the family home in Bryndwr, Christchurch.
Gwaze, who, with his wife, had adopted Charlene and her sister Charmaine when their parents died in Zimbabwe, allegedly injured Charlene in a violent attack on January 5-6, 2007. She died on January 7 in Christchurch Hospital.
The defence says Charlene became unwell on January 5 and died of toxic shock caused by her HIV infection.
Clare Doocey, a general paediatrician and specialist in sexual-abuse injuries, said in previous evidence that tears to Charlene's anus and the "disruption of the anatomy" struck her as having no medical explanation and she had to conclude, from the medical literature and cases she had seen, the cause was traumatic.
In cross-examination by defence counsel Jonathan Eaton today in the High Court in Christchurch, Doocey said she was aware of English experts who had examined samples from Charlene and who said the girl's HIV infection could explain the condition of her anal area.
The reports did not satisfy her that the abnormalities she had seen were caused by HIV in the tissues, she said.
She had searched the medical literature, and despite the millions of children with HIV, she could find no report of anything resembling her findings of Charlene.
She did not consider herself bold to be offering her opinion because of her limited experience with HIV in children, she said.
"I am looking at the whole picture,'' Doocey said.
She said she had experience of children who had been sodomised, and usually no tearing was present.

If it was, the tearing was small.

The other cases had exhibited significant bleeding and Charlene had not bled much, but that could be because of her low blood pressure.


The Press