Wednesday, September 9, 2015

For behaving badly at school: Frenchman 'killed 3-yr-old son by shutting him in a washing machine and switching it on

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A father allegedly killed his three-year-old son by putting him in a washing machine and turning it on, a French court heard today.

Christophe Champenois, 37, allegedly sought to punish his son Bastien for 'behaving badly at school', prosecutors say.

Bastien's mother Charlotte Cotte, 29, is charged with collusion and appeared alongside Champenois at the Assize Court in Melun, in a Paris' suburb on Tuesday.

During the first day of his murder trial,  Champenois claimed he had no.....
memory of the events on November 25, 2011, when Bastien died. 

It was Champenois himself who called emergency services in the town of Germigny-l'Eveque, east of Paris, saying he had a 'small problem' as his son had fallen down the stairs.

He added that he had given him a bath to refresh him and that the toddler must have drowned because he had water coming out of his nostrils.

However the victim's older sister, then five, told the doctor: 'Daddy put Bastien in the washing machine because he was naughty at school.'

She maintained this version throughout the investigation, and Cotte has previously said she saw Champenois put Bastien in the washing machine and turn it on.

Cotte told investigators she was doing a puzzle with her daughter and Champenois was surfing on the internet while their son screamed inside the tumbling machine.

She said that when her ex-husband removed Bastien from the washing machine and noticed he was no longer breathing he said: 'At least he won't bother us anymore.'

However, in an interview with Le Parisien published Tuesday, Cotte said she had tried to save her son and that Champenois had pushed her away from the washing machine.

A neighbour who came to the apartment to help described Bastien as 'frozen, completely naked. He was all white, limp, practically like a toy.'

Cotte was initially charged with failing to prevent a crime, but this was changed to 'aiding and abetting murder and violence.'

She again denied any complicity in the crime in court on Tuesday.

Her lawyer Gerard Zbili described her as a 'broken woman who lost the child that she loved' but who was unable to protect him out of fear of her husband.

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