Mum denies choking girl with face cloth

13th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

13 December 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The mother of three-year-old Savanna - who died after a face cloth or sock was allegedly forced down her throat - denies killing her daughter, a court in The Hague has been told on Monday.

13 December 2004

AMSTERDAM — The mother of three-year-old Savanna - who died after a face cloth or sock was allegedly forced down her throat - denies killing her daughter, a court in The Hague has been told on Monday.

The lawyer representing Sonja de J., 32, of Alphen aan den Rijn, also told the pre-trial hearing on Monday that the public prosecutor's explanation of the girl's death was not absolutely certain. The lawyer said a forensics test will shed more light on the fate within the next month.

The charges were read against De J., co-accused and former boyfriend Mario B., 27, and Reffles M., 34, of Nieuwkoop, during the hearing. M. did not appear in court, but is accused of mistreating Savanna. 

De J. is accused of forcing a face cloth or sock down her daughter's throat. Both she and B. are accused of locking the toddler up in her bedroom and letting her choke to death and of trying to dispose of her body.

They were arrested on the night of 20 September because they were driving on a road where cars are not allowed at night. A subsequent police search uncovered Savanna's body in the boot of their car. A shovel was also found in the car.

De J. confessed she was planning to bury her daughter's body in the forests near the town of Holten.

Savanna's death caused a public outcry because it had been known for some time in Alphen aan den Rijn that the girl was being regularly abused. The Youth Care social services bureau has admitted failings in the case.

Both De J. and B. are to be detained in the judiciary's psychiatric observation clinic, Pieter Baan Centrum, in Utrecht. M. has not been remanded in custody. A pre-trial hearing is set for 10 February and the trial could possibly start in April 2005.

[Copyright Novum Nieuws 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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