New reports say a social worker, who went to the police station where a mother was arrested on suspicion of child abuse, was pleading with officers to let the woman walk to take care of her baby.
(Click here for an update to the story)
According local media, a 24-year-old female from Latvia, was called to a police station in Limassol on Monday, facing assault charges after her mother-in-law reported an incident that reportedly took place before that weekend.
Previous reports indicated the woman had gone to the police to report spousal abuse but it was later clarified she was reluctant to press charges against her husband, a 26-year-old Greek Cypriot and father of their 19-month-old baby. He was also facing aggravated assault and destruction of property charges following his mother’s complaint.
Previous reports suggested the woman went to police to report spousal abuse but it was later clarified she was called in for another case and was reluctant to press charges against her husband
Reports later said the young woman was called in to the station following a complaint by her mother-in-law, but it was not clear whether she was a suspect or a person of interest at the time.
Mother and baby were at the station when police officers suspected physical abuse after noticing bruises on the baby. According to Philenews, a social worker who was called in from Social Services reportedly pleaded with police officers not to arrest the woman, asking them to allow her to walk free and take care of her baby.
It was not clear whether a second official, a child services administrator, was already at the police station, as there were conflicting reports and police declined to comment on the case.
Knews attempted to clarify the circumstances of the woman’s arrest, but police declined to provide details citing protocols involving a suspected domestic violence investigation.
Conflicting information on child abuse complaints
But there were conflicting reports over child abuse allegations, with local media saying there were two complaints on June 3, one pointing to spousal abuse and the other alleging child abuse.
Specifically, local media said a neighbour had dialed the hotline at Hope For Children in the evening of June 3 to report a woman was being physically abused by her husband, with details in the complaint saying the baby was at another location during the alleged incident.
But additional reports said another phonecall later in the morning was made to the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Family Violence (SPAVO), with the caller making specific allegations of child abuse.
On Wednesday, a female judge ordered the mother of the 19-month-old baby be remanded for two days until Friday, following the Monday arrest, while the father remained free after his remand hearing was cancelled in accordance with court procedural rules.
Mother released, parents ordered to stay away from baby
The two parents appeared before a Limassol district court judge on Friday where they were formally charged in a case of child endangerment and child neglect. They were both released on terms, with the mother ordered to report to police every day and the father every two days.
Both parents have also been issued a restraining order which forbids them from being within 500 metres of their baby. The mother has also been ordered to stay away from her mother-in-law.
A new arraignment date has been set for July 22.
Story updated with information after Friday court hearing