How is a cold shower a punishment

Toddler did not survive "punitive shower": four and a half years imprisonment

Vienna - The father of little Leonie, who died in autumn 2014 as a result of scalding, was sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment in the Vienna criminal district court on Friday. The senate of lay judges assumed that the 28-year-old had subjected his almost three-year-old daughter to a "penal shower". "The result of death is to be attributed to you", stated the chairwoman Elisabeth Reich.

The mother was also found guilty as charged. The 27-year-old was imprisoned for one year, four months of which were unconditional. The judgments are not final.

"It couldn't have been the way you said it today," said Judge Elisabeth Reich about the late Leonie's father. The Senate was "unequivocally convinced that it was planned to give the child a cold shower". During his interrogation by the police, the 28-year-old admitted that he had "sprayed" Leonie twice a month with cold water as a punishment if she could not be calmed down.

Judge: No intention to kill

During the last "punitive shower", however, the almost three-year-old was scalded for at least five seconds with water at 60 degrees Celsius - according to the court's findings on which the judgment was based - "because you either made a mistake on the regulator or arrived incorrectly. You became aware of this that it was getting hot. In your anger, however, you did not react immediately, "said Reich. Instead, the 28-year-old would have accepted the consequences of the injury: "But we do not believe that you intended to kill. Otherwise we would be before a jury."

For the court, therefore, there was a particularly serious case of child abuse that resulted in the death of the little girl. The chairman expressly pointed out that the father had practiced his "punitive showers" for at least a year. For general and special preventive reasons, regardless of the man's previous impeccability, a "strict mark" is required. Four and a half years are appropriate with the threat of punishment of one to ten years, Reich emphasized: "It is important that a signal is set here. Something like this is intolerable. Nobody should think that this is a suitable educational measure. That is inhumane. "

"You should have done something"

Both parents were also "one hundred percent aware that the child should be looked after in the hospital", the judge came to speak of the so-called night crime behavior, which was also assessed as torturing and neglecting an underage. The mother was sentenced to one year of partial imprisonment for this failure ("You should have done something!"), Whereby the judge indicated that the 27-year-old has a good chance of spending the unconditional part of the sentence in electronically monitored house arrest and not in prison have to: "You can do that so that you don't have to be detained."

Leonie's father made a shocked impression while the verdict was being pronounced, but tried to keep his composure like his former partner. Defense attorney Roland Friis asked for three days to think about it, the prosecutor initially made no statement. (APA, March 18, 2016)