Parents ‘should get jail for boy’s death’

The adoptive parents of a young Czech boy, who allegedly died due to neglect, have been released on bail by a court in Jönköping. The mother was found guilt of causing grievous bodily harm, and will undergo a psychiatric examination. The court said it would pass judgment on charges of manslaughter on 30th March.

Earlier, prosecutors argued that both parents should be jailed for at least a year.

Lead prosecutor Stefan Edwardsson said that the mother and father bear equal responsibilty for the death of their son, and should serve between one and one-and-a-half years. He noted that the boy would have celebrated his fourth birthday today, Monday, but that his life ended on 8th January when he died of blood poisoning and pneumonia. The prosecutor says that the boy died because his parents did not seek medical treatment for him, and they therefore should be convicted of manslaughter.

The prosecutor said that the boy had a large number of infected sores on his body, and loose skin on his feet had led to necrosis.

“Given the circumstances, they should have sought medical attention during the final days, but they didn’t even call a doctor,” he said. The prosecutor asserted that the boy’s life could have been saved if he had received care in time.

The prosecutor also said that the mother should be convicted of child abuse for forcing her son to lick up his own urine. The prosecution has throughout the trial portrayed the mother as the dominant force in the family, and tried to show that she had lost control of the situation.

Ewardsson said she should undergo a major psychiatric examination; she has already been submitted to a minor examination. He also said that she should remain detained until possible sentencing. He had no objections to releasing the father on bail, given that there there is no longer a risk that he will impede the investigation. He also said he was dropping his charge against the father of serious assault, saying that the evidence was not strong enough.

Both the mother and the father deny all charges against them. They say they did not realise that the sores could have such terrible consequences.

Bo-Erik Malmvall, an consultant specialising in infections at Ryhov hospital in Jönköping, testified for the parents. Judging from the pictures of the boy he said that a number of the sores were infected with impetigo, which is not particularly painful. The bacteria, an aggressive type of streptococcus, entered the bloodstream and caused acute blood poisoning.

The symptoms of such blood poisoning are very hard for a layman to observe, and gave examples where even doctors had died of blood poisoning. The condition can also progress very quickly, with death sometimes coming within hours.

TT/The Local