A mother tried to appeal after the death of her scalded baby

Despite significant social support from this dysfunctional family, little Mélinda died at around 2:30 p.m. on May 18, 2016 in Neuf-Mesnil (North), after being sprayed with hot water by her beau father the night before.

A mother sentenced to 18 years in prison for scalding her 19-month-old daughter to death by her companion tried on appeal on Tuesday to explain the deep distress she was in at the time of the tragedy.

“I couldn’t take it anymore,” said Ana-Maria Barbosa de Sousa, 37, in an appeal to the Saint-Omer (Pas-de-Calais) circuit courts until Friday. “I’ve seen things, but only thought of myself,” recognizes this discreet woman with her hair cleverly pulled back. “I failed to protect my children.”

Despite significant social support from this dysfunctional family, little Mélinda died at around 2:30 p.m. on May 18, 2016 in Neuf-Mesnil (North), after being sprayed with hot water by her beau father the night before.

The child had been smeared with moisturizer and put to bed without anyone calling for help, despite screaming and vomiting. The Samu was not alerted until midday the next day.

Mélinda was conceived a few days after the funeral of her elders, Joulia, who had been killed by a relative of the family to whom her mother had entrusted her.

Ana-Maria Barbosa, herself an abused child, has since been given a three-month suspended sentence for the abuse of this other child, who died at the age of 21 months.

four children

The defendant, who has never worked, had 9 pregnancies between the ages of 19 and 30 and gave birth to four children.

The last, Mélinda, was born when her separated parents were forbidden from seeing each other due to the ongoing court case into her sister’s death.

His mother soon met a new companion ten years her junior, Jason Odin. She moved with him to live with a man he calls his “uncle,” who had a past conviction of pedophile acts and whom Jason Odin accuses of raping him.

The two men were convicted by the Douai Assize Court on October 12, 2020 and have not appealed. Jason Odin is serving a 25-year sentence for barbarism towards Mélinda, and his host was sentenced to four years for failing to help the child.

“An unspeakable torture”

Ana-Maria Barbosa’s two eldest children, their mother, with whom they are staying, and Mélinda’s father are civil parties to the process.

“We have to live through these facts again, it is an unspeakable ordeal,” said her lawyer Me Hugo Van Cauwenberge. “It’s hard to see the defendant being portrayed as a victim – she faces 30 years in prison!”

A psychiatrist described the defendant to jurors as a woman who suffered from “emotional weakness,” had “low empathy,” and had “expressed no remorse, regret, or guilt,” according to the facts.

After initially minimizing her responsibilities, “she is a woman who develops in the knowledge of the facts,” emphasizes her advisor Me Fatima En-Nih. “He took a long time.”

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