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Parents face criminal trial in baby’s death

Paphos court

The parents of a three-month-old baby who died from severe head injuries were on Friday referred to trial before the Paphos criminal court.

The pair, both 29, were arrested for his death in February.

The father faces two charges, manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, and causing death through a reckless or dangerous act. The mother only faces the second charge.

The trial starts on April 18.

The baby died on February 22, four days after his father rushed him to Paphos general hospital in a comatose state.

He was transferred to Makarios children’s hospital in Nicosia where 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 not consistent 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.

The 29-year-old 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.

Prosecutors asked the court to remand the father in custody since he faced possible life imprisonment if found guilty. They also asked the court to release the mother under certain conditions.

Defence lawyers said they were not ready to argue whether the father should be released and the court set a hearing on Monday.

The mother was released on bail and has to report to a police station twice a week after surrendering her travel documents.

 

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