On trial for death of own baby in Sevilla

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A YOUNG man is on trial for the death of his six-month-old baby. 

A jury at the High Court in Sevilla has heard that the couple lived as “squatters” in a flat in the neighborhood of El Cerezo, when their child died in June 2016. 

They had taken the baby to hospital in a very serious condition. Staff diagnosed that the child was severely malnourished and showed signs of ‘shaken baby syndrome’. It was also found that the boy had a fractured skull. 

B.S.R.G., the father, who faces reviewable permanent prison for the murder of the child, has said that he did not strike any blow that could cause the boy’s death, not even unintentionally. 

I think that if it is there – the injuries – than it happened, but it was not me,” he said during his interrogation, where he insisted that he took his son to hospital on June 12 because he had choked while drinking a bottle. 

Before the interrogations of the father and mother, R.F.G., who is accused of mistreatment and abandonment, for which the Attorney General’s Office asks for a year and a half in prison, the lawyer of the accused pointed to the Virgen Macarena hospital and the autonomous social services as “the first and serious causes” of this death. 

He said: “How could the hospital dare to deliver a newborn baby to these parents, without housing, education or preparation to care for this baby.” 

The mother, who the prosecutor acknowledges was the victim of serious sexual crimes as a child, has defended the attitude and behaviour of her partner, saying that she never saw him mistreating the child. 

The baby was born prematurely in December 2016, weighing a little more than a kilo, which meant that he was admitted to the Neonatal ICU of the hospital until March 2017. 

During this period he was “perfectly assisted” by the health workers, in the face of the “disdain” shown for their duties by the parents, who are currently 21 years old, according to the examining magistrate. 

He said they had shown “total disregard” for the illnesses and recovery of the newborn once he was home, initially missing medical visits for their child.. 

Subsequently, the parents showed a more collaborative attitude towards the health workers, attending to all medical requests. This caused the social workers to lower the level of the alarm, although a notification of mistreatment was sent to the Social Services on April 11. 

But then on June 12, the prosecutor alleges that the father and baby were left alone together.  “He took advantage of it to attack his son, with the intention of causing his death or, at least, without caring if such a fatal outcome happened. He squeezed his head and hit it violently against a smooth and hard surface, at the same time as shaking the boy.”  

Shortly afterwards, according to the judge, a friend of the couple visited. Without knowing what had happened and faced with the possibility that the child had choked, as the father said, they went to went to the hospital. The child finally died a few days later, on June 17, in the Paediatric ICU of Macarena. By then the parents were already in detention.  

The Prosecutor’s Office, it should be remembered, also initially accused the mother of the murder of the baby by omission, although it withdrew this accusation in the course of the investigation when it was found that she was not at home when the assault on the baby allegedly occurred.  

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Written by

Dilip Kuner

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