Severely Beaten Little Girl Dies

By 4 April 2021
Severely Beaten Little Girl Dies

April 4, 2021 - The severely injured girl of two and a half, who was brought to Zagreb's children's hospital from Nova Gradiška on Wednesday, died on Sunday, the Zagreb hospital's director, Goran Roić, said in a press release.

Despite all the treatments undertaken and doctors' exceptional efforts, her condition critically deteriorated, and brain death was confirmed, he added.

Speaking to Hina on Saturday, Roić said the girl's condition remained unchanged and that her life continued to be in danger. Earlier, he told the girl had been in serious condition when she was admitted, on mechanical ventilation, and in a brain coma due to craniocerebral trauma.

Parents remanded in custody, local social welfare center director sacked

The girl was brought to the Nova Gradiška general hospital on Wednesday morning by her mother, who said the child had fallen. The doctors tried to revive her, but she was transferred to Zagreb in the afternoon due to the severity of the injuries. The head of the Nova Gradiška hospital, Josip Kolodziej, said the injuries were severe, notably to the head, but that they were all over the girl's body.

On Saturday, a Slavonski Brod County Court judge remanded the parents in custody for one month. They admitted in part to the crime of violating the child's rights.

The mother is charged with hitting the child with inappropriate force, as a result of which the girl ended up in the Hospital for Children's Diseases in Zagreb.

The mother has been remanded in custody because of the risk of obstructing the course of justice by interfering with witnesses. In contrast, the father has been remanded for the same reason and the risk of repeating the crime.

The mother is charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm, while the father is charged with violating the child's rights and neglecting and abusing all four of their children.

Investigators suspect that the girl was abused between November 2020 and 31 March 2021, while the other three children, who have been separated from their parents, are believed to have been abused for a longer time.

The Nova Gradiška, Social Welfare Centre, has been aware of this family because the father was reported for domestic violence before. The girl was in a foster family for over a year, but the center returned her to her parents at their request.

The director of the center, Branko Medunić, was sacked after an administrative inspection found irregularities at the center.

On Saturday, Family and Social Policy Minister Josip Aladrović announced amendments to the Social Welfare Act to improve the quality of service for beneficiaries. 

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