The Central Criminal Court of Porto today sentenced to three years in prison, to be served at home under electronic surveillance, a woman from Vila Nova de Famalicão who mistreated her son at the age of one, causing him serious brain injuries.
The defendant could choose, as she chose the court, to serve her sentence in prison and, when she served half of that sentence, to ask for parole, but she preferred house arrest.
In any circumstance, the penalty of pre-trial detention for women is already one year and two months.
The defendant was inhibited from exercising parental authority for 10 years and from exercising professions in which she has to deal with children, having to pay 20,000 euros to the victim.
The panel of judges partially proved the charge against this woman – a 29-year-old seamstress – for reoccurring mistreatment of the child in a hospital environment, after doing so in Vila Nova de Famalicão.
According to the lawsuit, the defendant shook the baby “violently” for the alleged purpose of getting her to stop crying. He did it over the course of four days in October 2018, until he caused shaken baby syndrome.
The child “suffered trauma to the brain, as a result of his violent displacements against the skull walls, caused by the violent way in which the accused shook him”, simplifies the Public Ministry (MP), in the accusation.
He adds that “after exams, a CAT scan [Tomografia Axial Computorizada] and MRI scans, the doctors confirmed multiple injuries and hemorrhages ”in the child, who was initially taken to a health center, was referred to the local hospital and transferred to the Intensive Care Unit of the central hospital in São João, in Porto.
The prosecution notes that the woman assaulted the child again, more than once, in the ward of the hospital of São João where the child was admitted.
He attacked her with violent spankings on the buttocks and called him “demon”, according to the MP.
Also according to the lawsuit, on the woman’s maternity bag, on the day the baby was discharged from the hospital in São João, “a kitchen knife, with a total length of 31 centimeters, with 20.5 centimeters of blade ”.
The court found that the defendant did not act out of “feelings of wickedness”, but with the specific aim of stopping the baby from crying.
The production of evidence in this trial was done in closed sessions, but the judge revealed, in reading the judgment, that the defendant denied the facts, but, she added, “did not convince the court”.
The child was delivered to a foster family.