Mum faces life for 'unintentional' killing
7 June 2005, AMSTERDAM — Demanding a three-year jail term and indefinite psychiatric detention against the mother of the abused Savanna, the public prosecutor admits on Tuesday that the three-year-old girl was not killed intentionally.
7 June 2005
AMSTERDAM — Demanding a three-year jail term and indefinite psychiatric detention against the mother of the abused Savanna, the public prosecutor admits on Tuesday that the three-year-old girl was not killed intentionally.
The prosecutor also said in The Hague Court charges of manslaughter cannot be proven against defendants Sonja de J. and Mario B. despite the girl's tragic death.
De J. and B. locked the child up, refused her food, punished her with cold showers, beat and gagged her, but there was no intention to kill her, the prosecutor said.
According to the prosecutor, both defendants wanted to educate or punish the child because she broke the rules. Because Savanna regularly survived such treatment, they did not believe that she could die.
Nevertheless, charges of grievous bodily harm could be pressed against the defendants, the prosecutor said, because it was intended that Savanna suffer from the punishment, newspaper 'De Telegraaf' reported.
The defendants also knew they were acting inappropriately because when the family guardian assigned to protect Savanna or other social workers visited, the girl was well dressed and was never beaten or locked up in their presence, the prosecutor said.
The prosecutor demanded a three-year jail term against Savanna's mother and two years against her male partner. Both defendants also face a demand for indefinite psychiatric detention and treatment in a secure TBS institute.
Savanna, of Alphen aan den Rijn, died on 20 September last year after an argument with her mother. De J. is accused of pushing a face washer in the child's mouth and wrapping a bandage around it to ensure it wouldn't fall out.
The child had a cold and was seriously undernourished and probably died from a lack of oxygen.
Police arrested both defendants when they found Savanna's body in the boot of their car at night near the eastern Dutch town of Holten. It is alleged the suspects planned to bury her. In the car at the time, was Savanna's baby sister.
Psychiatric experts with the judiciary's observation clinic PBC have diagnosed the suspects with serious personality disorders. De J. is aggressive and impulsive, while B. is submissive and cannot stand up for himself or others.
The court was advised both suspects should undergo long-term, compulsory psychiatric treatment.
Given the seriousness of their disorders, their TBS detention might continue for many years, news agency ANP reported. TBS detainees are frequently held in secure clinics for several decades — effectively a life sentence.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news