- The 33-year-old was found guilty of all charges, including attempted murder.
A woman accused of repeatedly beating and starving her son when he was 12, locking him in a dog cage and throwing cold water on him in freezing temperatures has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in Austria.
The 33-year-old was found guilty of all charges, including attempted murder, in a court in Krems, northeastern Austria, yesterday.
The mother was arrested in late 2022 after a social worker, allegedly called by the friend, found the child severely malnourished, in a coma and hypothermic.
She was accused of repeatedly beating and starving her son between July and November 2022.
The woman is said to have sprayed her son with cold water while opening the apartment’s windows for several hours in sub-zero temperatures, causing his body temperature to drop to a life-threatening 26.8°C.
A dog cage displayed in a courtroom at the beginning of a three-day jury trial. The mother was found guilty of all charges, including attempted murder, yesterday in a court in Krems, northeastern Austria.
A police vehicle is parked in front of the Regional Criminal Court before the start of the trial. The mother was arrested in late 2022 after a social worker, allegedly called by her friend, found the child severely malnourished, in a coma and hypothermic.
A psychiatrist told the court that the mother, who suffers from severe and persistent mental illness, had developed a “paranoid symbiotic relationship” with her “manipulative” friend.
Her 40-year-old friend and alleged accomplice was sentenced to 14 years in prison for encouraging her through chat messages and phone calls.
During the trial, which began on Monday, both women traded blame, with the mother apologizing for her actions and stating that she simply wanted to “discipline” her son, according to the Austrian news agency APA.
The judge presiding over the trial determined that the boy was psychologically “completely destroyed.”
The mother’s accomplice told the court that she was not aware of the extent of the abuse inflicted, despite their exchanges proving otherwise.
The state government has also set up a commission to investigate whether authorities could have done more to rescue the boy sooner.
Der Standard newspaper reports that the boy previously ran away from his mother, but was returned to her.
Today’s sentences are appealable. The court ordered both women to undergo therapy.