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Brussels resident handed eight-year sentence for child abuse
A 36-year-old resident of Koekelberg, Brussels, has been sentenced to eight years in prison for throwing his three-month-old baby to the ground.
The Koekelberg resident has a history of violent child abuse. He was previously sentenced to nine years in prison after hitting his baby son, who was then just a couple months old. The child later died of its injuries.
Shortly after his release from prison in 2018, the man began a relationship with another woman and fathered a child with her. In November of 2018, he threw the child to the ground because she had been crying. She sustained a skull fracture and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. It remains unclear whether the injuries she sustained have caused any lasting damage.
The Brussels prosecutor’s office had called for the Koekelberg resident to be sentenced to 15 years in prison given his history of child abuse. But the judge instead convicted him to eight years in prison on attempted manslaughter charges.
The defendant’s attorney told VRT NWS that his client did not intend to kill the child by throwing her to the ground. “He deliberately threw her on the play mat,” attorney Kristof Lauwens said. “After the facts, he immediately proceeded to care for the child. He fed it and cleaned its diaper – that is not a typical response for someone who wanted to kill the child.”
Written by Linda A. Thompson
Photo: Belga / Nicolas Maeterlinck