‘He died on the morning of his life’: heartbreaking testimony from parents of shattered baby, verdict imminent

When judges and lawyers contact Anne Gavoille, they are all extremely considerate. The jury bows to the grief of a mother who, on that morning of December 4, 2017, entrusted her baby to a nanny in Cagnes-sur-Mer. That same evening, at Lenval Hospital, Gabriel Barthod-Gavoille, eight months old, on IV fluids, died in his arms.

Anne recalls this call from Alexandra Pouillot, 50, the childminder who has been charged with “fatal beatings” in the Assize Court since Tuesday: “She left me a message that there is a problem. I did not understand it. Gabriel was in top form, he was nice, extremely easygoing. I tried to reach them. She didn’t answer my calls.”

Upon arriving at the nanny’s, the fire department won’t let Anne into the ambulance. “I only saw him in the hospital hallway as he was about to undergo a CT scan. I still don’t get it.”

Me Olivier Giraudo, Me Danielle Gazzotti and Me Sandrine Reboul, lawyers for the civil parties. photo chap. P

suspected relatives

Gabriel shows the symptoms of a concussed baby coupled with a fractured skull. The doctors alerted the public prosecutor’s office. The judicial machinery is set in motion. The child’s parents and the childminder are taken into care.

For thirty-two hours, a devastated mother and father find themselves in the shoes of suspects. “This is one of the most striking cases of the Grasse miners’ brigade”, confirmed on Tuesday a police officer from Grasse, who remembers the mother’s cries of grief and despair.

The childminder eventually admitted “an accidental fall, and trembled in panic to revive the little one. She blames herself for lying.

She could have spared herself the worries about custody of broken-down parents. The nanny was first aid trained. She had received training on Shaken Baby Syndrome. Which adds to the incomprehension of Anne and Thomas, who were separated at the time of the tragedy but are now united in the same unspeakable suffering.

Anne reveals through sobs that she is now raising a one and a half year old girl: “It brings me back to life, but it doesn’t erase anything. She will never meet her big brother. Gabriel died on the morning of his life and that’s not normal. He was in good health. He didn’t celebrate his first birthday, his first Christmas.”

A previous hematoma

Anne doesn’t believe Alexandra Pouillot’s story. Neither did Thomas. The father, a solid head of a security agency, collapses at the top, overwhelmed by emotions. He has been waiting for plausible explanations for four years. Gabriel’s grandmother, in turn, tearfully approaches: “He was adorable, I assure you. I’d like to know the truth.”

In the course of the proceedings, relatives of the accused described a childminder “Experienced”,A beautiful woman,benevolent”,without the slightest violence”She regularly sent photos of the little ones to parents to reassure them.

Would she have made a gesture of nervousness, of desperation, overwhelmed by the illegal custody of six young children, overcome by tears? She defends herself:Gabriel was so easy.”

She continues to conjure up an accident, followed by a knee-jerk gesture of panic that takes the child’s life. She denies any responsibility for causing another hematoma in Gabriel’s brain, an injury experts say likely occurred three days before the tragedy.

The pleadings began on Thursday evening. The verdict is expected on Friday. The nanny faces a 30-year prison sentence.

The pleadings of the lawyers of the civil parties

Me Sandrine Reboul, Childhood and Sharing Attorney for the Defendants: “I don’t think you’re a bad person. You’re breaking the law. Having six children in this apartment is sheer madness. Speak of a random gesture. It’s not a crime to be offended by a person’s crying.” Yes, your child’s crying can be unbearable. So every year there are two, three, four, five… 500 cases of Shaken babies, what I prefer to call non-accidental head trauma, diagnosed.”

Me Olivier Giraudo, lawyer for Anne, Gabriel’s mother and maternal grandparents:
“I carry the voice of a broken mother. A part of her is dead. She owes her traumatic time in police custody only to Alexandra Pouillot’s persistent silence. Madame Pouillot not only conceals the seriousness of Gabriel’s condition, but she also brings shame on the parents. She is a false naïve who is aware that she has committed a criminal act. She was overwhelmed, she lost control.”

I Danielle Gazzotti, attorney for Thomas, Gabriel’s father and paternal grandparents: “This little guy was massacred. Madame lies to the emergency services in order not to lose their approval. We are described as a caring nanny. On the morning of the tragedy, she exchanged text messages for eighteen minutes with a gentleman she met on Tinder while “She has six children. This is unacceptable behavior. It fell on Gabriel, it could have fallen on someone else.”

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