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12° Nicosia,
15 August, 2020
 
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New details in suspected child abuse

Wife jailed, husband walks free, as police prepare domestic and child abuse case

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A young mother remains locked up in connection with an ongoing domestic violence investigation and alleged child abuse in Limassol, with reports saying police were told the husband was abusing his wife but she hesitated to file a complaint.

According to local media, a 24-year-old female from Latvia remains in custody until her court hearing on Friday, when she and her 26-year-old Greek Cypriot husband and father of their 19-month-old baby, will appear before a judge.

Authorities have been investigating reports of domestic violence, where two separate complaints were filed in early June alleging the man was physically abusive towards the woman.

Reports said one of the complaints against the 26-year-old male was filed by a relative in his family.

The woman walked into a police station with her 19-month-old baby to report spousal abuse, with officers calling a social worker after suspecting child abuse

Last Friday, the grandmother of the baby launched a complaint against her son and daughter-in-law, with both husband and wife briefly detained on assault charges, including aggravated assault and destruction of property.

On Monday, the woman walked into a police station with her baby to report domestic and spousal abuse, some media outlets reported, with the woman reportedly telling officers she was physically assaulted by her husband.

But police say officers suspected child abuse after seeing what appeared to be bruises on the baby, with reports saying the woman was detained and a social services worker was called in.

The baby was taken to Makarios Children’s Hospital in Nicosia for medical treatment with doctors telling police there were signs of physical abuse within the last 20 days.

Following her arrest on child endangerment, the mother denied any abuse and told investigators the baby had fallen recently, while media reports said allegations against the mother had emerged saying she was abusive towards the baby.

But police made clear on Thursday morning that the case under investigation never involved child abuse allegations but only domestic violence.

Relative sees child neglect, not abuse

A male relative of the father, who spoke live on a television news programme on Wednesday, said he did not think the baby was physically abused by the father or the mother.

“I don’t believe they have knowingly abused their baby, but it’s more like they have neglected the child,” he said.

The relative said the baby had eczema, a condition that can cause cracked skin and blisters, adding that one day the baby came back from daycare with sings of physical injuries.

“The family quickly pulled the child out of that daycare,” the relative said.

Local media have been reporting on how state authorities were involved in the case, with Kathimerini Cyprus reporting that police received a complaint on June 1 about the father of the child allegedly hitting the mother.

The following day, a message from the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Family Violence (SPAVO) also reached police headquarters, after a neighbour dialed a hotline to report a man was hitting his wife.

Police officers visited the residence where the woman declined to press charges, while another similar incident reportedly took place on June 5.

Wife remanded, no hearing for husband

The mother is currently jailed on a two-day remand, issued by a judge on Wednesday.

A similar hearing that had been scheduled separately for the father ended up not taking place, with the court saying the suspect was not brought before a judge within 24 hours of his arrest.

The wife was also not brought before a judge within the legally-mandated 24 hours of her arrest but local media cited official sources saying the female suspect did not protest about the delay as she was trying to find a lawyer.

Knews has learned that the woman had asked the female judge to allow her to remain under home arrest but the request was denied.

Both parents are expected back in court on Friday, when state prosecutors will file a case. Possible charges include child endangerment, aggravated assault, and destruction of property. It was not clear whether spousal abuse was being considered at this time.

Unconfirmed reports said the father had been turned down for state benefits related to a rare genetic disease.

Reports said the man is known to slur his speech due to Friedreich Ataxia, a rare inherited disease that causes progressive nervous system damage as well as movement problems.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Limassol  |  child abuse  |  domestic abuse  |  spousal abuse  |  police  |  Latvia  |  Greek Cypriot  |  baby  |  eczema  |  arrest  |  court  |  remand  |  judge

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