The victim’s father-in-law, who has been in prison since May 2021, applied Tuesday before the investigatory chamber of the Montpellier Court of Appeal for his release. Decision on April 5th.
“For me, we are in torture and barbarism here. It is an absolute horror”. Civil party in the investigation into the death of Amandine, this 13-year-old teenager who died on August 6, 2020 in Montblanc near Pézenas, Me Luc Abratkiewicz does not mince words before the Court of Appeal Montpellier on Tuesday March 29. It must be said that there is a reason: as the investigation progresses, the horror of what Amandine has experienced grips her throat.
Week-long food deprivation
“The most likely hypothesis to explain death is food deprivation in the weeks leading up to his death. recalls the president of the hearing, which has to decide on a new request for release presented by Jean-Michel Cros, 47, the victim’s father-in-law. He was jailed in May 2021, along with Sandrine Pissara, Amandine’s mother, for “deprivation of care and food resulting in death”.
Amandine weighed just 28kg at 1.55m and appears to have spent the last months of her life locked naked in a windowless storage room. “Sandrine said she didn’t want to see her” Jean-Michel Cros explained to the coroner, claiming not to have noticed the ordeal suffered by the young girl.
Images sent to mobile phones
Problem: The gendarmes discovered frightening images on a tablet whose memory, unlike the other family devices, had not been erased. “They installed these surveillance cameras themselves!” insists the magistrate, who states that the house has been equipped with a video surveillance system, “also in the storeroom” And the “At Sandrine’s request to look after the children when she went to work. The applications have been installed on both of your phones.”
Sitting naked on a stool and copying lines
Amandine was also regularly punished, sitting naked on a stool, forced to copy handwritten lines. “Sandrine Pissara was obviously the great organizer of this whole system,” summarizes the judge, who provided the psychological expertise of this “rigid and tyrannical” mother of eight with the “executioner-to-victim” behavior toward Amanda, “the container for all the hate.” ‘ uttered imploringly to the father.’
“How can you do that to your own child?” the Advocate General wondered. “As of March 15, 2020, she was sentenced to be locked up naked, lined up in a storage room, with a ban on seeing her friends and not going out. And we will starve them. We treated her deeper than a dog, it’s unimaginable. I don’t even understand how to apply for release.”
Lack of culpable intervention
“The defense dares everything and is right in his boots in this file” replies Me Mercier, Jean-Michel Cros’ lawyer. “The file is almost closed. Even though it’s complicated, you have to put emotions aside. All the people you’ve heard describe him as someone who’s effaced, loving and incapable of the slightest bit of violence. And who in his relationship to Ms Pissara had a lack of intervention which is probably at fault”
Jean-Michel Cros speaks again with tears. “Every day when I think of Amandine, I feel horrible. I lived with a woman I didn’t know. I blame myself for not realizing what happened. he says. Decision on April 5th.
Still many mysteries to solve
Will the forensic investigations conducted since the incarceration of Amandine’s mother and stepfather in May 2021 make it possible to understand how the teenager’s ordeal could have gone unnoticed, both by social services and his college? In the nine months that elapsed between the discovery of the death and their arrest, his mother and her companion had full leeway to eliminate compromising leads. Nonetheless, testimonies were collected to describe scenes of the teenager’s humiliation. Like that of this man who ended the friendly relationship with SAndrine Pissara when she boasted to another of her daughters about “dropping Amandine at the foot of the wind turbines in Saint Pargoire and pretending to have left her there while the child ran behind the car”. The couple, who are currently being prosecuted for food deprivation causing death, currently face thirty years in prison. They face life imprisonment in case of an aggravating circumstance of torture and barbarism.