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Mother's first night in jail for beating girl (3)

A MOTHER spent last night in solitary confinement in jail after she was sentenced to four years imprisonment for severely beating her daughter who died days later from her injuries.

Three-year-old Sefora Kycwak who lived at Killeen Woods in Tralee, Co Kerry, suffered 70 separate injuries from the hands of her Roma gypsy mother, Monika Packowska, before her death in 2005.

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

Last week, the woman who has five other children, pleaded guilty at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court to the wilful ill-treatment of her daughter in a manner likely to cause injury or suffering at their home.

Yesterday, Judge Carroll Moran noted that the deceased girl was born three months prematurely and had been 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 said neighbours of the guilty party had said the child was well-fed and clothed but another witness had 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".

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.

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

Judge Moran said the incident was not a premeditated attack, "but more of a spontaneous nature".

However, he remarked that the severity of the attack could not be understated."This incident resulted in a completely unnecessary loss of life," he said.

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