Nanny caught throwing baby thanks to hidden camera
A home surveillance system is not something everyone thinks they need. In a perfectly safe and friendly world, no-one would need them. But sadly, that's not the case. A burglary at your neighbour's house will usually result in the whole street getting cameras installed around their homes. And sometimes, you may feel the need to put surveillance cameras inside your home as well.
This was the case for 31-year-old mother Annemarie Theron. She had noticed unusual marks on her baby daughter's body, and decided to set up a hidden camera to see where they were coming from. Mrs Theron and her husband, Johan, were suspicious that the injuries may have been inflicted by their nanny, Nicolin Hoeses. Hoeses was hired to look after their nine-month-old daughter Laila, who the Theron's noticed seemed "frightened" of.
Only a few hours after installing the 'nanny cam', Mrs Theron saw shocking footage of Hoeses throwing the baby into her cot. She grasps the baby by the neck with one hand and then throws her with force face-first into the cot. The baby can be heard screaming and crying in the video, to which the nanny appears to show no concern. She then snatches the baby up again – by the leg – and carries her away.
The family live in Namibia, but Mrs Theron is from Zimbabwe. Mrs Theron first noticed bruises on Laila's feet in July, but she said she didn't want to be "a paranoid first-time mum", and didn't feel comfortable confronting the nanny without proof. "I did not want to make her angry towards me and put my child in danger," she said. "It was very difficult to leave each morning to go to work.
After viewing the disturbing footage, Mrs Theron said she "cried and cried" while cradling the upset baby:
"When I saw what she had done to Laila, I cried and cried. I held my baby girl close and kept telling her I was so sorry.
"I had so many emotions – betrayed, and a complete failure as a mum. It was the worst feeling I have ever had and never ever want another mother to have to go through that."
The footage was immediately given to the police, who arrested the nanny after watching what happened. Hoeses has appeared in court and was charged with attempted murder. She was denied bail and will remain in custody until October. She has four children of her own.
Hoeses was hired as a nanny through recommendation by friends of the Theron's, who had previously employed her as a nanny for their two children.
"They feel absolutely terrible now," Mrs Theron said, "they had had no suspicions about her at all, but are now doing their own investigations with the children with the help of a therapist."
Mrs Theron revealed that she refused to sleep, eat or drink for a couple of days after the incident because she felt so emotional after watching the footage. "It’s difficult to imagine how long this has been going on for," she said. "I can see Laila is so, so broken after everything."
For now, Mrs Theron is taking Laila to work in the afternoons after she attends playgroup in the morning. She emphasised how unfortunate her situation was and that not all child minders are bad. The Theron's might consider getting a new nanny, but it will take some time for them to trust people again.