Savanna's mother 'abused other children'

30th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 May 2005, AMSTERDAM — A step-sister and brother of murdered child Savanna were abused and taken away from their mother by the Council for the Protection of Children in the early 1990s.

30 May 2005

AMSTERDAM — A step-sister and brother of murdered child Savanna were abused and taken away from their mother by the Council for the Protection of Children in the early 1990s.

On the first day of the murder trial of Savanna's mother, the court in The Hague heard that the girl was born in 1992 and the boy a year later.

A couple of years later, the father of the children — who was married at the time to defendant Sonja de J. — divorced his wife and took the children with him.

Accused of killing her three-year-old daughter Savanna last year, the 33-year-old De J. never saw the other two children again.

The public prosecutor alleges De J. starved and abused her daughter before she was killed when a sock or cloth was stuffed down her throat in September 2004.

Child protection authorities and a family guardian were sharply criticised in March this year for leaving Savanna with her mother for too long.

The guardian faces culpable homicide charges.

Meanwhile, the court in The Hague will hear testimony on Tuesday from De J.'s co-defendant Mario B., who had a relationship with her at the time of Savanna's death.

The two of them were arrested in Holten in the east of the country after police found Savanna's body in the boot of their car.

It is suspected they were planning to bury the body in a nearby forest.

After undergoing sterilisation and later a reversal of that operation, De J. went had gone to bed with another man, identified only as Dennis. She has described him as a sperm donor.

Soon after Savanna was born, reports started to emerge from neighbours that De J. was violent against her daughter, did not feed her enough and did not clean her nappy.

The suspect — who gave birth to a fourth child after Savanna — denies the claims as being highly exaggerated.

The trial will be conducted over four days. Expert witnesses will be called on 6 June and the closing statements of the prosecutor and defence will be heard on Tuesday 7 June.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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