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Bielsko-Biala. Five-year-old Eliza was dying for several months. Her parents were convicted of homicides with particular cruelty. There is an application for appeal

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There is a cassation complaint regarding the final judgment heard by the parents of the disabled five-year-old Eliza, who died in 2017. The girl was malnourished and, according to experts, had been dying for several months. The parents were sentenced to 25 years in prison for homicide with particular cruelty and child abuse. Now the case is to be dealt with by the Supreme Court. “Only the elimination penalty of life imprisonment will allow to properly shape the legal awareness of society” – states the prosecutor general in the cassation appeal.

Five-year-old Eliza, who had serious diseases of the nervous system and quadriplegia, died in October 2017 in an apartment in one of the tenement houses in Bielsko-Biała (Silesian Voivodeship). She couldn’t walk, couldn’t sit up, couldn’t eat on her own, had to be fed extracorporeal. At the time of death, the girl was dehydrated, had subcutaneous and muscular tissue atrophy. The child did not leave the apartment at all, and he was not given any medications.

An autopsy showed that untreated pneumonia was the direct cause of death. According to the prosecution, Eliza had been dying for several months. The girl was lying in a playpen, which was accessed by a narrow path trodden in the garbage lying in the apartment. Eliza’s three-year-old sister was also in the apartment. She too was malnourished.

The prosecutor’s office accused the parents of murdering the child and demanded life imprisonment for both. In November 2021, the District Court in Bielsko-Biała sentenced them to 15 years in prison. The sentence was appealed by both the defense and the prosecution.

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The parents of five-year-old Eliza were legally sentenced to 25 years in prison, there is a cassation appealZbigniew Meissner/PAP

“A bestial act, even barbaric”

This ruling was changed in March last year by the Court of Appeal in Katowice. The court increased the sentence for Eliza’s parents from 15 to 25 years in prison. The court of appeal assessed that the parents’ behavior was a homicide with particular cruelty, combined with earlier physical and mental abuse of Eliza – also bearing the hallmarks of particular cruelty.

– Their act (of the parents – ed.) to the detriment of the minor and disabled, and therefore completely dependent on them Eliza, was characterized by exceptional brutality, it was bestial, even barbaric – commented Judge Wojciech Kopczyński.

Read also: 25 years for starving a disabled five-year-old. “It was a bestial act, even barbaric.”

Appeal of the Attorney General

As the Polish Press Agency found out in the National Prosecutor’s Office, the Prosecutor General and the Minister of Justice did not agree with this verdict. Zbigniew Ziobro and filed a cassation appeal to the Supreme Court in this case, in which he wants the sentence to be overturned in the part concerning the penalty and the case reconsidered by the appellate court. “Only the elimination penalty of life imprisonment will allow to properly shape the legal awareness of society” – states the prosecutor general in the cassation appeal.

In his opinion, recognizing the young age of the perpetrators (23 and 29) as a mitigating circumstance was a mistake of the court. The cassation emphasized that, in accordance with the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, the young age of the perpetrator is not a circumstance which, as a rule, should affect the amount of the penalty.

“In this case, the perpetrators, who were fully sane, acted extremely ruthlessly, in the name of their own interests. Abandoning the care of the child was also the result of their mutual stubbornness. The accused believed that caring for the child was the defendant’s duty, and she believed that it was his. As a result, no one took care of the child. It was a reprehensible and at the same time trivial motivation that led to an irreversible tragedy. In this context, the age of the perpetrators, young people, but still adults, remains irrelevant “- argues the prosecutor’s office.

As a consequence, the Prosecutor General questioned the authenticity of the defendants’ remorse expressed in court. “It is difficult to accept their explanation that caring for the child exceeded them, since they intentionally refrained from providing him with any help, and at the same time did not turn to the relevant institutions” – it was emphasized in the complaint.

Main photo source: Zbigniew Meissner/PAP

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