Mechanics shocked to find LIVING baby in the boot while fixing car.
The parents of a child discovered in a car boot in France have been arrested after claims that the baby, aged between 15 and 23 months, was concealed in the car boot from birth, according to the Telegraph
The child’s age is uncertain due to the state of neglect
in which she was found, although preliminary investigations suggest that the girl is between 15 months and two years of age.
Mechanics working on the vehicle made the appalling discovery after hearing noises coming from the boot of the car, noises the mother claimed to be coming from toys but which turned out to be coming from a little girl who was covered in faeces and unable to lift her own head.
The mother allegedly told police that she’d deliberately kept the existence of the child a secret from her husband, a builder and that she’d never registered the child who has no name and is said be severely disabled. She says that she kept the child in the car from birth.
A neighbour said that while the woman seemed normal, she appeared to live in the Peugeot 307 parked about 200 metres from her house. The car was sometimes covered in cardboard. None of her neighbours suspected that there was anything untoward about the family.
All of the couple’s three other older children have been taken into care, as has the baby, and they face a possible 10 years in prison for neglect and concealment of a child.Neglect in SA
In SA child neglect
is taken very seriously by the authorities. According to Child Care SA
, child protection includes:
- Preventing and protecting children from any form of abuse, maltreatment, neglect or degradation (Degradation = Taking someone's pride away; treating children with no respect).
- Responding to children who have been abused or harmed.
- Responding to children in need of care and protection.
The organisation calls it a moral obligation to report suspected child abuse including neglect, saying that if abuse is suspected the authorities must be called to handle the investigation. There are agencies trained in providing safe care for neglected children, and members of the public should not intervene directly unless the child is in immediate and serious danger.
Find out as much information about the child as you can, such as name, surname, age and address, and report it to the following numbers
- Social worker (Social Development) - 0800 60 10 11
- Childline - 08000 55 555
- Police station - 10111 / 08600 10 111
- For human trafficking - 0800 555 999
The tragic case of the baby living in a car boot is obviously an unusual one, but the reaction of the neighbours is more typical: Child abuse and neglect may be very hard to detect
, and the perpetrators don’t always give clues about their behaviour. Although Child Care SA says the public should not personally investigate a possible case, they do list certain warning signs that it could be taking place, such as malnutrition, bruising, injuries, inappropriate sexual behaviour, changes in behaviour, obsessions, bed wetting and so on. Take a closer look at how to spot the signs of abuse on their website:
Child Care SA
Would you report suspected neglect if you saw it?