French couple arrested for caging 7-year-old son

5th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Apparently, the boy was locked in a lightless and cell-like room with a urine-soaked mattress since his infancy.

MILLAU – A French couple who kept their seven-year-old son locked in a lightless, cell-like room for years have been arrested for child abuse, officials said Thursday.

The 42-year-old builder and his 35-year-old wife had kept their son hidden from the world, apparently since his infancy, in a shuttered room in their home in the southern French town of Millau.

"The child had been locked up for several years in a room that contained nothing but a urine-soaked mattress, with no furniture or toys," said the state prosecutor in Millau, Patrick Desjardins.

"This little boy had been living in conditions worse than a prison cell," he said.

Social services turned up to search the couple's home after they refused to answer questions relating to their other child, a younger boy.

They discovered the seven-year-old in what Desjardins said was "a rare and serious state of deprivation... very weak physically, clearly intelligent but with no schooling whatsoever."

Both parents were expected to be charged on Thursday with child abuse and neglect. Their two children have been taken into care.

AFP / Expatica

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