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Cyprus

Parents of dead baby remanded again

The Paphos district court on Monday remanded the parents of the three-month old baby boy who died on February 22 from head injuries for another six days as the circumstances of his death is still unclear.

The couple, both 29, were arrested on February 26 in connection with the case and remanded for six days one day later.

The investigator said in court that investigative work is in progress and more testimonies from friends of the family are needed as well as from people working with the woman. Her husband is unemployed.

The baby died on February 22, four days after his father rushed him to Paphos general hospital in a comatose state. Doctors initially declared him dead, saying he had ingested his own vomit but they managed to resuscitate him. He was transferred to Makarios children’s hospital in Nicosia but died. A head scan showed brain injury and an epidural hematoma.

The parents had reported that their son sustained the injuries by falling from a couch but they were arrested after a post mortem revealed that the severity of his injuries was incompatible with a fall from a 70cm high sofa. According to the pathologists in charge of the case such injuries can only be caused by a fall from a greater height.

The infant’s father had testified that he was at home when he heard a noise and found the baby on the floor. He admitted the infant vomited twice that day but he only took the baby to hospital three days later because he was vomiting again and milk came out of his nose.

The mother in her initial statement reported they hadn’t taken him to hospital earlier because he was quiet, playing with his siblings and woke up at night only when he was hungry. She confirmed he fell off the couch while she was absent at work.

She said when she asked her husband to take the injured boy to hospital he refused because he was afraid they would lose custody of the child.

The 29-year-old in her testimony also said that her partner, with whom she has lived in Paphos for six years, was violent and aggressive and had shaken the three-month-old infant several times and thrown him violently into its cot. He also said he sometimes did not want the baby because it bothered him when he played games on television.

A friend of the family reported that the couple have short tempers and the father consumes a lot of alcohol. They reportedly often left their children to go hungry and without proper sanitary care.

The other two children of the couple, aged two and three years, are being cared for by the welfare services.

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