Medico-legal report of son accused of stabbing mom 20 times details substance abuse

Uveer Jaganath is charged with the murder of his mother whom he is alleged to have stabbed 20 times. | TUMI PAKKIES/ Indpenedent Newspapers

Uveer Jaganath is charged with the murder of his mother whom he is alleged to have stabbed 20 times. | TUMI PAKKIES/ Indpenedent Newspapers

Published Jun 20, 2024


Durban — A joint medico-legal report of a man – on trial for the murder of his mom whom he allegedly stabbed 20 times – compiled by two psychiatrists sheds light on the accused’s drug use over the years and delves into his state of mind at the time of the alleged crime.

Uveer Jaganath, 23, is charged with the 2021 killing of his mother, Jessica.

His trial began on Tuesday in the Durban Regional Court where he pleaded not guilty. His plea affidavit was handed to the court with the joint medico-legal report attached to it.

The report, compiled in 2023 after sessions with the two doctors in the same year, indicates that a SPECT scan of the accused’s brain showed damage to the frontal lobe.

Jaganath in his plea said that some hours before the incident he snorted 3-4g of cocaine, smoked cigarettes laced with cocaine, and smoked dagga.

In court on Tuesday, Jaganath’s defence counsel, advocate Paddy Prior, instructed by attorney Bob Bahadur, said during its cross-examination of the State’s first witness that it would come out in the trial that Jaganath had been using cocaine and weed for two years.

“Despite his abstinence for more than a year, the fact that there are still functional abnormalities points to a significant level of damage from his years of substance use. It can be extrapolated that his scan findings would have been much more abnormal at the time of the incident as he was actively using multiple substances over a prolonged period. It is well recognised that improvement in the scan can be observed after a period of abstinence,” reads the report.

It records that before the incident Jaganath had been using cocaine, dagga and benzodiazepines on a fairly regular basis for an extended period.

As a child, he was on methylphenidate for his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which he later discontinued as he was a competitive swimmer who represented his school, province, and country.

It says at 16, after being removed from the swimming team in Grade 10 following an altercation with a fellow pupil, Uveer began being depressed and he was diagnosed as such in 2019 and was put on medication.

“It must be noted that he was actively abusing cocaine, cannabis, and Rohypnol at the time. This may have affected his clinical presentation. He defaulted on his medication and follow up and continued using drugs.”

The report says that Uveer has significantly dense retrograde amnesia for the period of the incident (the alleged murder), “which could be related to a dissociative episode, brought on by the presence of substances and triggered by extreme emotional dysregulation which may have resulted from the argument with his mother”.

The trial continues on Thursday (today).

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