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12° Nicosia,
05 July, 2022
 
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Father pleads not guilty in preemie’s death

Man accused of manslaughter back to jail until trial in September, prosecutors focus on abuse background

Newsroom

A man accused of killing his newborn premature baby has denied manslaughter charges, with the judge ordering him back to jail until his trial beings after the summer.

Local media said a 37-year-old Bulgarian man on Thursday pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of his 2-month-old girl who passed away in early March at Makarios Children’s Hospital in Nicosia.

Last month the defendant and the baby’s mother, a 22-year-old woman also from Bulgaria, together rushed their baby to the Emergency Room at Limassol General Hospital.

Doctors then ordered the preemie transferred to Makarios Children’s Hospital in Nicosia, with reports saying the girl was out of consciousness and died hours later.

Preliminary reports pointed to the baby thought to have choked during feeding while a post mortem conducted by state forensic examiners determined the infant had died with a serious head wound but it was unclear when the injury had occurred.

The mother said she was not aware of the father abusing the infant but noted in the last two days prior to the incident the little girl had been sleeping a lot and had a change in her behavior

Police said the father, who was interrogated by CID Limassol investigators, reportedly admitted shaking the baby girl to make her stop crying after he had gone back home tired from work on March 2.

But the mother, who was also arrested and facing charges in the case, had told investigators she was not aware of her baby’s father abusing the infant but noted in the last two days prior to the incident she had noticed the little girl had been sleeping a lot and had a change in her behavior.

Local media said police prosecutors may not only rely on medical evidence alone to prosecute the case, with reports suggesting there were allegations that the father abused the mother in the past.

Medical experts have been debating on the shaken baby syndrome over the years, with some arguing whether or not certain brain injuries can be caused by shaking alone and others arguing on how to account for stretches of time between when a child is injured and when the symptoms become apparent.

A judge ordered the trial to begin on September 19, with the father who denies wrongdoing ordered to remain in pretrial detention until the hearing.

The little girl was reportedly born two months early.

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