28 July 2005
BRUSSELS — A provincial bailiff has discovered in Antwerp a seriously neglected child whose parents allegedly kept watch over him via a webcam.
The bailiff was only sent to the Antwerp address to impound the house, which was later found to be in disrepair and an unhygienic state.
When no one answered the front door on Wednesday, the bailiff called in a locksmith to enter the building, located in the Antwerp suburb of Deurne.
The man then discovered a three-year old boy who had been seriously neglected. The boy was lying in his own excrement.
The child was taken to hospital by ambulance and is said to have the development of an 18-month-old child.
The boy suffers spasms in his oesophagus, has a mild form of Downs Syndrome and appears to have had open-heart surgery.
Medical examinations will determine if the child’s condition is due to the medical problems, neglect, or both.
The 43-year-old father of the child reported to police an hour after the bailiff entered the house. The father said he had seen “something” on the webcam, which the bailiff had found in the house.
The mother of the child, who runs a café, was arrested at the premises shortly afterwards, newspaper ‘Het Gazet van Antwerpen’ reported on Thursday.
The child’s parents were questioned by police, but were later released on condition they accept professional guidance. They face three years jail.
A four-year-old sister of the neglected boy has been placed into foster care. She appeared to be malnourished and also negelcted.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news