The Debrecen Court sentenced a woman who left her one-month-old daughter alone in the immediate vicinity of a heater to a two-year suspended prison sentence. The infant suffered burns and died.
According to the court’s announcement on Wednesday, the woman was found guilty of negligent homicide, and the execution of the 2-year prison sentence imposed on her was suspended for 3 years.
The accused lived in a house in a town in the county of Hajdú-Bihar. On March 11, 2022, at around 7:00 a.m., she fed her one-month-old baby, then put the sleeping child on the bed and placed the heating radiator set to a high temperature in its immediate vicinity. There was no other heating option in the room.
The woman then, without telling one of the men living in the house, left the baby and went to an acquaintance to take her other two children home who were sleeping there.
The defendant returned to the house around 8 o’clock and noticed that her baby was not showing any signs of life. She started shouting, then took the baby in her arms and ran with her to another building where her sister lives and asked her for help.
After that, the emergency services were notified by phone, and the defendant’s brother told them that a child might have been bitten by a rat.
Ambulances arrived at the scene in a short time, but they could no longer revive the baby.
According to the data of the criminal proceedings, as a result of the careless behavior of the accused, the baby suffered burns on his legs covering about 13 percent of the body surface, partially second-degree, and in some places even third-degree, and died due to multi-organ failure caused by the burn.
A cause-and-effect relationship can be established between the burn injury and the victim’s death. If professional medical help had arrived in time, the child’s life could most likely have been saved, they wrote. At the preparatory meeting on Friday, the accused made a confession and waived his right to a trial.
The court assessed as mitigating circumstances the fact that the accused has no criminal record, admitted to committing the crime and has to take care of five minor children, the statement reads.