The death of a toddler in a washing machine has led to a sentence of 30 years in jail for an abusive French father.
Christophe Champenois took his three-year-old toddler and stuffed him into a washing machine, allegedly because the little boy had misbehaved, according to AFP. Champenois then turned the washing machine on and walked away to surf the internet while his son died a horrific death.
Charlene Cotte, the toddler’s mother, heard the child, named Bastien, scream as the machine kept going. She said she did a puzzle with her five-year-old daughter as the nightmare continued.
The daughter recalled to a doctor that “Daddy put Bastien in the washing machine because he was naughty at school.”
When Bastien was finally taken out of the washer by his 36-year-old father, it was apparent that the abuse led to his death.
After Champenois pulled his son’s lifeless body from the washer, he said, “At least he won’t bother us anymore.”
The death of a toddler in a washing machine occurred in November, 2011. Champenois, who lived in Germigny-l’Eveque, a town east of Paris, called emergency services after the death of his son. He said he had a “small problem” because the toddler fell down the stairs.
He also said Bastien’s death must have occurred because of a drowning; he had just given the child a bath and he had water coming out of his nose.
A neighbor who came to help described the child as “frozen, completely naked. He was all white, limp, practically like a toy.”
Bastien’s 29-year-old mother was jailed for 12 years for the death of a toddler, specifically for “aiding and abetting murder and violence.”
It was revealed that Bastien was not wanted by his father, and he had suffered repeated abuse from the man, including being locked in a cupboard. Social services had been contacted, but for some reason, Bastien and his sister were still in the home with Champenois.
“This is not an isolated act… it is not a fit of rage or madness, it is the final act of violence against a child who was always mistreated,” said Isabelle Steyer, a lawyer for a child protection group. She said the child had “fallen through all the cracks.”
Gerard Zbili,the lawyer for Cotte, described the mother as a “broken woman who lost the child that she loved.” Zbili claims Cotte failed to protect her son because she feared her now ex-husband.
The death of a toddler in a washing machine in France means that Champenois will not be eligible for parole for at least 20 years.
[Photo by The Independent]