A father in Cyprus was sentenced to five years in prison after a criminal court found him guilty in the death of his preemie, following his own admission to police that he shook the newborn to make the baby stop crying.
Local media said a 37-year-old Bulgarian man on Wednesday was sentenced to five years in prison during a closed hearing at a Limassol criminal court, after judges found him guilty of manslaughter.
According to details in the case, prosecutors said the father, who pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges, had reportedly admitted shaking the baby girl to make her stop crying after he had gone back home tired from work in March 2022.
The father, who pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges, had reportedly admitted shaking the baby girl to make her stop crying after he had gone back home tired from work
The suspect’s wife and mother of the preemie, who was also initially detained but later released, 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.
Preliminary reports had suggested the baby had 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 little girl, who was reportedly born two months early, was initially taken to the Emergency Room at Limassol General Hospital and then transferred to Makarios Children’s Hospital in Nicosia due to the severity of her condition. Forensic examiners later said the baby had suffered brain injury as well as injuries to the spine, ribs, and collarbone.
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.
But medical debate quickly turned into a criminal investigation after police said they would not only rely on medical evidence alone to prosecute the case.
Unconfirmed reports suggested there were allegations that the father abused the mother in the past.