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Roma girl (3) who soiled bed died after beating by mum, court told

A mother beat her toddler so badly that the child died in hospital three days later with massive bruising and a swollen brain, a court in the Republic of Ireland was told yesterday.

Tralee Circuit Criminal Court was told how the three-year-old girl had 31 separate areas of bruising around the head and neck.

The woman, a Roma asylum seeker, claimed she had "flipped" on the night in question after the little girl had soiled herself in bed.

Medics later found dozens of bruises on the child's limbs. A post-mortem attributed the cause of death to swelling of the brain and bleeding of the brain.

Monika Paczkowska (34), of Fountain Court, Tralee, admitted wilful ill treatment of her daughter Sefora Kycwak in a manner likely to cause injury or suffering at Killeen Woods in the town on August 2 and 3, 2005.

A charge of manslaughter had been withdrawn.

Deirdre Murphy, prosecuting, told the court: "The ill treatment of a three-and-a-half year old Sefora Kycwak led to her death at the hands of her mother in whose care she was at the time."

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Ms Murphy also told the court how Sefora was born prematurely and had spent some months in hospital, in Holles Street and in Kerry General, before being discharged home to Killeen Woods.

Her father and mother were married and at the time of the incident there were a number of other children in the house, including step-children.

Her mother never had a good relationship with Sefora and frequently slapped her, pinched her cheek and pulled her hair.

Neighbours who were called to the house on August 3 shortly before 1am found Sefora lying lifeless on top of the stairs and her mother hitting her in an attempt to revive her, Ms Murphy added.

The accused said the child had vomited after drinking cola and had fallen. Doctors at Kerry General Hospital found the child was suffering from brain bleed and they found extensive bruising.

They did not accept the mother's account that the injuries had been the result of an accident and alerted gardai.

Sefora died three days later. Assistant state pathologist Dr Margot Bolster noted 31 areas of bruising to the head and neck along with dozens of bruises to the limbs and body.

She also found older scars on the child's body.

Gardai later found soiled pyjamas and vomit in the house and the DPP directed that charges be brought.

Detective Sergeant Fearghal Pattwell told the court that gardai had originally objected to bail when the accused first appeared in court, but this had been granted in the High Court and Paczkowska later absconded.

Almost five years later -- in January of this year -- she was arrested in London and extradited here, Det Sgt Pattwell added.

Det Sgt Pattwell told defence counsel Denis Vaughan Buckley that Paczskowska was a mother of five with three different fathers and had been married twice.

She was now in a relationship with another man with whom she had another child two years ago.

Mr Vaughan Buckley, who asked that his client be given a suspended sentence, said she accepted that she "flipped" on the night of the attack but she hadn't planned to do so and she didn't want to kill her child.

He added that Paczskowska, who is originally from Poland, still very much grieved the death of her child and apologised for her misbehaviour.

Judge Carroll Moran adjourned the case for sentencing until Wednesday next, saying he needed time to consider psychiatric and post-mortem reports. He remanded the accused in custody.

Source Irish Independent

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