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Crime Seine-et-Marne: five years in prison, four of which suspended for the father of the shaken baby

22:15  02 july  2020
22:15  02 july  2020 Source:   leparisien.fr

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The adorable six-month-old boy from Enzo *, wrapped in a panda-covered puffer jacket, appears on the screen of the Assize Court of Seine-et-Marne, in Melun. It was two days before his father rocked him so hard, on November 11, 2016 in Roissy-en-Brie, that the child suffered from permanent disability.

Then images of the daily life of the child, now aged 4, parade and make this innocence disappear. We see Enzo taken with spasms on waking, installed in his wheelchair or standing with shells and splints. "It is difficult to be able to predict what his handicap will be, but it will have to be followed very long," said the experts.

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Laurent *, his 31-year-old father, appeared free. He was facing his ex-partner and his in-laws, who alone bear the brunt of the child's disability. This Thursday evening, he went to prison. He sentenced to five years' imprisonment, including four years suspended sentence. His firm year will be on day parole. He must then observe a six-year socio-judicial follow-up. He was therefore imprisoned pending the execution of his sentence. A sentence practically consistent with that requested a little earlier by the Advocate General.

The baby was just hungry

According to his explanations, Laurent had to exceptionally take care of his sick baby for less than two hours, while he was himself suffering. His son was crying and he didn't understand that he was just hungry. He puts her head in the shower and then "waves" her twice. "I was overwhelmed," he explains, without trying to excuse his act.

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He had opened on his gesture in the hospital, 46 hours after the shaking, while his child had convulsed. And had confessed everything to the police station a few days later. At first, the couple, very much in love for thirteen years, had remained united. Until the father abandons his responsibilities and the mother leaves him.

The latter joined a civil party late, after their separation in April 2019. During the two years that followed the tragedy, “my client was ashamed to explain to doctors and educators: my son is disabled and suffers of a permanent infirmity due to a shaking within the family framework ”, recalled his lawyer Me Hélène Thirion.

"A shaking is always extremely violent"

Between 2015 and 2017, there were, in France, 1,200 suspected shaken babies and 512 probable cases. According to Me Sylvie Gerosa Raulin, lawyer of the association of assistance to victims representing the boy, "information, he had it". Her parents-in-law had told a story about the conviction of a nanny a week earlier. "We tell ourselves that it will not happen to us ...", says the accused.

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Laurent, although happy that it was a boy, had not attended the birth preparation classes. "I did very little," he admits. I had a lot of trouble taking responsibility. I lacked love for him from the start. ” He ignores the advice of those around him. "We had the opportunity to tell him that a baby is fragile until his two years," reports the paternal grandfather at the helm.

For expert doctors, “shaking is always extremely violent. To the point that an outside witness would say if he continues, he will kill him ”. Supporting imagery, they explained that the child's brain development had been slowed down. They also reported a second subdural hematoma, caused by the shock of the brain against the skull, which preceded the one that caused the final sequelae.

“We do not say that this child was ill-treated on a daily basis, but you are not faced with a domestic accident either. I'm having trouble with the expression of shaking. Compared to the violence of the person making the gesture, it is an earthquake, ”corrects the Advocate General. "In comparison with other cases, he had the courage to say that it was him," she concedes, however.

"Justice must be done for my son"

"You are not born a father, you become one," pleads Me Jilla Saoudi, the lawyer for the accused. When Enzo was born, Laurent loved him right away. He knew the shaken baby syndrome but didn't know the consequences. He couldn't react responsibly and ask for help, ”she analyzes.

Concerning the flight from his responsibilities and the lack of reparation, badly experienced by the mother, “he tells me that it kills him that Enzo can smile at him when he has hurt him. He realizes that he has prevented his former partner from being a normal mother. ”

"He has indeed committed the irreparable but for as much, it is a man who deserves the possibility of becoming a father", she concludes. “It's the end of a stage. Justice must be done for my son, ”considers his client.

* First names have been changed

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