Austrian couple sentenced to 5-year imprisonment over daughter’s death

by Akeem Alao

A German couple have been sentenced to 5-year imprisonment by an Australian court.

The couple, who live in Austria, received the sentence for causing the death of their 13-year-old daughter.

While delivering the judge on Wednesday 12th February 2020, the judge stated that instead of taking their daughter to hospital for treatment, the couple left their daughter in the hand of God.

“Two Germans living in Austria did not take their sick daughter to be treated by a doctor. The girl died aged 13 of chronic pancreatitis. They claimed they thought God would cure her,” the judge said.

The charge, which literally translated as murder through neglect, roughly equatesto second degree murder or manslaughter convictions in English language legal systems.

During the trial, the couple said they were members of an unaffiliated Christian church; the father described himself as a missionary and a preacher.

On the day of her death, the girl complained of stomach pain, and the couple thought she was experiencing her first period. When her condition didn’t improve, the father said that he offered to take her to the doctor but that she didn’t want to go. He said he had prayed for her and fasted instead.

“I spoke with her, stroked her, gave her things to drink,” the mother said.

The couple admitted that they neglected their daughter, but didn’t believe their actions could be classified as murder.

“Both of them definitely didn’t want their daughter to die,” their defense attorney, Zaid Rauf, said before the trial.

The girl was one of the couple’s eight children. The couple moved to Austria eight years ago so their children could be home schooled. Unlike Germany, there is no compulsory schooling for children in Austria, only compulsory education.

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