Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Baby Abuse Cases Shock Country

One man is being charged with murder and another woman investigated for neglect after two incidents where young babies were pushed or fell out of apartment windows in Warsaw’s Praga district last week.

Zbigniew W., a resident of Warsaw’s famously rough ul. Stalowa in the eastern Praga district, admitted to “throwing something out of the window but did not know what”, while drunk on Monday, July 21.

His infant daughter, born just hours earlier, died in hospital the same day after being found lying on the ground outside the family’s flat.

“The suspect has admitted to the charge [of murder],” a spokesman for city prosecutors told reporters on Wednesday.

Both parents and the girl’s grandmother were detained under the influence of alcohol at the scene, and the mother was taken to hospital for treatment. The family has a second older child who has previously been removed from the home.

The second case also related to a Warsaw woman, who was also drunk when she left her five-year-old daughter alone in the home on Wednesday. The girl is in hospital after falling out of the second floor flat.

Child abuse and parental neglect has become a generally bigger issue in Poland in recent years, most memorably after a shocking incident that made international headlines where a family kept the bodies of several smothered infants in a barrel in their home.