A 27-year-old woman and her 19-year-old partner told an investigating magistrate in the western port city of Patra on Wednesday that the cuts, cigarette burns and bruises on their 7-month-old daughter were inflicted by her brother, a toddler who is just two years older.
The pair face lengthy prison terms if found guilty of child abuse, as doctors caring for the baby have allegedly submitted evidence of violence that dates back several months, while the Smile of the Child charity said that its hotline had received a number of complaints against the woman in the period between 2009 and 2011, saying she had abused her three other children. All three children were removed from her custody.
The couple tried to convince the Patra magistrate during their initial testimony on Wednesday that their two-and-a-half year-old son had accidentally poured scalding milk on the his 7-month-old sister and had also hit her. Their explanation did not seem to convince the judicial official, who gave them until Thursday to prepare their deposition.
Doctors at the Karamandaneio Children’s Hospital have also submitted evidence that the baby was not being adequately fed as she showed signs of arrested development.