Saturday 25 February 2017

Mum jailed for four years after beating daughter (3) to death

Barry Duggan

A WOMAN who beat her three-year-old daughter so severely that she died in hospital days later has been jailed for four years.

Sefora Kycwak died after suffering 70 separate injuries at the hands of her Roma gypsy mother, Monika Paczkowska.

Paczkowska (34) savagely assaulted her daughter at their home at Killeen Woods in Tralee, Co Kerry, on August 3, 2005, after the mother discovered that the young girl had soiled herself in bed.

Last week, the mother of five other children pleaded guilty at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court to the willful ill-treatment of her daughter in a manner likely to cause injury or suffering.

Paczkowska, who is a Polish national, has married twice and had six children with three different fathers.

The court previously heard that she was raped by four men at the age of 14. She arrived in Ireland in 2000 as an asylum seeker and was given the status of an Irish-born citizen in 2002.

Yesterday, Judge Carroll Moran noted that the deceased girl was born three months prematurely and was kept from her mother for two months.

He said there was a distinct possibility that this led to a lack of bonding between the mother and daughter at a "critical phase" in the child's life.

The judge added that neighbours said the child was well fed and clothed but a witness stated they had seen Paczkowska slapping the child, pinching her cheeks and pulling her hair.

On the night the incident happened, the court heard that the accused "lost it or flipped" on discovering the child had soiled herself.

Judge Moran said she subjected the child to repeated assaults around the head and body as a result of which she died three days later in Kerry General Hospital.

Bruising

The doctors who treated Sefora did not believe her injuries were accidental. A post-mortem found that the child had suffered 70 areas of bruising, including 31 injuries on the neck and head. She died from brain swelling.

Reading Assistant State Pathologist's Dr Margaret Bolster's report, Judge Moran said the bruises and injuries "are consistent with multiple blows or forcible slaps".

Paczkowska fled the State after receiving High Court bail following the death of her daughter. A European arrest warrant was issued for her and she was brought back to the country last January.

A psychiatric report stated she was a borderline case for a personality disorder. Paczkowska made previous attempts at suicide and was locked up in protective custody in Limerick prison for her own safety.

Judge Moran said the incident was not a premeditated attack "but more of a spontaneous nature". He said an aggravating factor was the "savage nature of the assaults on a defenceless child".

Paczkowska was sentenced to four years' imprisonment backdated to October 26 last.

The mother's remaining children are now in foster care.

Irish Independent

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