Opening of the trial of the parents of Smaël, who died at 13 months

The couple faces thirty years of criminal imprisonment for the “aggravated murder” of the little boy in 2018.

They each incur up to 30 years of criminal imprisonment: the trial for “aggravated murder” of the parents of little Smaël, who died of hunger and beatings in 2018 at the age of 13 months, begins this Monday before the court of Assises de la Marne. The little boy was discovered by the emergency services in cardio-respiratory arrest in an apartment in Reims in October 2018, following a call from the parents, a 34-year-old Frenchman born in Mauritania and a 22-year-old Ivorian without a title. stay.

Noting the state of malnutrition and the multiple traces of violence on the boy’s body, the emergency services immediately alerted the police. Despite the resuscitation attempts, Smaël died a few hours later. “He was swollen all over. He was beaten, including with electric cables, and may also have suffered burns ”, declared at the time the public prosecutor of Reims, Matthieu Bourrette. “Affected by scurvy, the little boy weighed only six kilos and had a straw mattress on which blood was found as a bed”, he revealed.

In police custody, the father had denied having given fatal blows, claiming that it was the mother who took care of everything. The latter “ended up admitting to having dealt at least a certain number of blows in a simple educational logic”, said the prosecutor.

Verdict expected Friday

“Malfunctions and real failures cost the life of this child”, denounces Me Laurence Micallef-Napoly, for the association L’Enfant Bleu-Enfance Maltraitée which brought a civil action, just like the association Innocence in Danger. According to her, the mother, who already had another child, placed, “Has totally fallen through the cracks of the net”. “We know that she is in great difficulty and no one takes care of her”, the lawyer is indignant.

Stressing that two months before his death, Smaël had been seen by a doctor without any alert being launched, the lawyer also points to a lack of training of health professionals in the detection of child abuse, recalling that the “Reporting is a duty”. For Smaël’s parents, the verdict is expected on Friday.


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