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Father jailed for starving daughter to death

The Local · 18 Nov 2010, 13:48

Published: 18 Nov 2010 13:48 GMT+01:00

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A court in Nuremberg sentenced the 30-year-old truck driver from the Thalmässing district of Bavaria for murder by neglect and abuse.

The court said the man, Patrick R., had gone along with his overbearing, dominant wife in allowing the couple’s daughter, Sarah, to starve because he was too weak to stand up to her.

He had fully understood that his daughter was dying and had taken care not to help her, the sentencing judge said. The judge added that the man could have saved Sarah by taking her to a doctor but had avoided doing so, the judge said.

“This case has barely left anyone unaffected,” the judge said. Sarah’s suffering had been “deeply shocking and moving.”

“What kind of parents are these, who let their child starve in front of their eyes?” he asked.

Sarah died of cardiopulmonary failure in a Nuremberg hospital on August 10, 2009. She was by then emaciated and dehydrated to the point of being skeletal.

The trial of the mother, who is seriously ill from cancer, has been put on hold.

Sarah’s slow death began at the time of her mother’s dramatic weight loss in April 2009. The mother, who had weighed 120 kilograms, lost 50 kilograms within four months – partly by her choice but also partly because she had cancer, though she didn’t know that at the time.

She gave up looking after her daughter around this time. By Sarah’s third birthday in May 2009, she was showing clear signs of malnutrition. Sarah’s father had also been aware of this. Rather than looking after the girl himself when he was home from work as a truck driver, Patrick R. had gone along with his wife and helped hide Sarah at home.

“The reason for this behaviour, in our view, was fear,” the judge said. The woman, who already had two children from her first marriage, had worried someone would report Sarah’s malnutrition to authorities.

So the couple hid the girl in their room and deflected questions from friends and relatives.

Story continues below…

The judge stressed that the mother had clearly been the instigator of the girl’s neglect. She had made the decision to let Sarah starve in order to cover up her earlier neglect. It had also been her idea to hide the girl.

But Patrick R. had helped her. And in the end, his daughter had had no meaning for him, the judge said.

DAPD/The Local

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:07 November 18, 2010 by janreg58
They need to starve his fat butt to death too!! 13 years? Shoot him tomorrow!! I'm sorry if I have offened anybody, but I'm a mother of 3 and I can't even imagine doing this to my children or any defenseless child!!
16:42 November 18, 2010 by vjtheking
Wot a ßa$tard !!!
16:45 November 18, 2010 by moistvelvet
@janreg58, you're not really sorry and you certainly shouldn't feel the need to be, perfectly reasonable repsonse after reading something like this... but I disagree, shooting is too easy, too quick.

This is the third case of child abuse and murder that I've read today. In the UK in seperate incidents Charlie Hunt and Violet Mullen both 15 months old were physically abused and tortured to death by people supposed to be looking after them.

It beggars belief how this could happen, but it does just as it always has, but the punishment handed out today no longer fits the crime IMO.


17:37 November 18, 2010 by ngwanem
pure madness!!! how can people let their daughter die out of neglect? some psychiatric cases, i can say
17:46 November 18, 2010 by Californian
If I was the judge, I would ask the Father if he is familiar with the old saying "In for a penny, in for a pound".

Often when criminals are apprehended in pairs or groups, a classic maneuver is for one to feign innocence and blame the other - Just like children do.

It would be of little surprise to hear that the mother is blaming the father, or even her cancer.

Nothing can be done now to right this wrong, but a small consolation would be that these two "parents" to never get a chance to do it again.

A 13 year sentence sets a weak example/deterrent for future would-be individuals that may commit these types of crimes.

18:33 November 18, 2010 by Jeremy Krauss
Only 13 years - What kind of legal system is this. He should be put away in hard labor till the end of his life. This is not a human being. This is less than an animal
19:41 November 18, 2010 by Gretl
I literally want to throw up. I am the mother of three girls and can't imagine doing that to any of them.
07:37 November 19, 2010 by ushany.jasmin.balder
Thats just crazy. Why have children if your not going to protect and give them a happy life? Poor girl, i cant even imagine being so young and helpless :(
10:36 November 19, 2010 by moistvelvet
@ushany.jasmin.balder - Absolutely, it is the basic principle of being a human being, to protect and care for their young. Obviously many people on this earth are not fit to be classed as humans, but sadly no charges of thieving oxygen can be applied only hope that people like this quickly do something to achieve a Darwin award and remove themesleves from the gene pool.
22:37 November 19, 2010 by flagwag
I will never be able to understand why any person might want to harm an innocent child.

In those 15 years, he should see nothing but water and bread once a day. Or better still, make it a diaper every once in a while, so he doesn't forget how his young daughter ate her own diaper out of hunger. And he should not be able to father another child, once he completes his full sentence.

As for the mother... It's utterly ridiculous to wait with her trial, because she has cancer. Government is going to pay for her cancer treatment anyway, so why wait? She does not deserve a break. Start her trial already. Make it last the rest of her life, water, bread and diaper.
23:53 November 19, 2010 by surj
I can't understand who can we let this happen in our civilized society? Shame on us all. I will never be able to understand how a father or a mother can do this to an innocent child especially their own. May Sarah R I P
18:29 November 20, 2010 by supermc
R I P Sarah child, so sad the poor little child.her parents should be never let out again,sick people.your right surj everyone should look out for the little ones who can't help them selves,a bed of heaven to you Sarah.
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