The Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court has confirmed the reviewable permanent prison sentence to a couple for the crime of murder of a five-month-old baby, who was the woman’s daughter, which occurred in May 2018 in La Matanza de Acentejo (Tenerife).
The Chamber dismisses the cassation appeals filed by the two convicted against the sentence of the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands that confirmed the one handed down by a Court of the Jury of the Provincial Court of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which also imposed a two-year sentence imprisonment for each one for a crime of habitual ill-treatment.
The court states in its judgment that the factual account describes the circumstances in which the defendants injured and ultimately killed the minor. Thus, it indicates that the two defendants or one of them, but in any case with the knowledge and consent of the other, since they did nothing to prevent it despite the fact that they could do so, between May 22 and 27, 2018 , both inclusive, “beat, shook, and repeatedly gave the victim strong handshakes, producing a multitude of bruises distributed on the head, legs, arms, back and abdomen, this is the place where most of them were concentrated ”.
It adds that, subsequently, the two or one of them, as a result of strong and violent compressions or one of the blows that during the last hours of May 26, 2018 or the first hours of May 27, hit the minor, ” they ruptured the liver, causing internal bleeding that caused her death, the minor suffering as a result of it great pain for a long period of time which in turn induced intense crying ”.
The Chamber notes that, although the Jury Court could not declare as proven who of the two defendants carried out each of the blows to the minor during the five days, it did conclude that “they were both or one of them, with the knowledge and consent of the other, expressing an assumption of joint co-authorship with reciprocal imputation of the result produced, since both were present during the five days that the conduct that produced the two typical results lasted, the injuries and the death of the minor ”.
He adds that “it is not logical to understand that during those five days one of the two did nothing, adopt an attitude of absolute inactivity or, as suggested, that he did not know what happened in the room for five days, with the cries of a baby mistreated. On the contrary, the logic of the events leads to the conclusion that both participated in the event, both had the domain of the event over the conduct, and this is described by the factual account that uses a plural verb tense to describe the action and the assumption of the result, without prejudice to the difficulty in determining the concrete action that produced the concrete typical results. For this reason, the Jury goes to the expression of the conduct, active and omisive, comprehensive of the two modalities of a typical behavior ”, the court emphasizes.
The appealed judgment, as well as the instance judgment, -according to the Chamber- show the participation in the facts, by action or omission, of both appellants. Remember that “up to four doctors declared on the etiology of the injuries of the child under five months, all concurring in their conclusions, bruises and injuries are causal to episodes of abuse and rupture of the liver it is not due to a fortuitous or accidental eventIt is the product of a blow or intense pressure on the baby’s body ”.
Regarding the authorship of the accused, it indicates that “it is proven, and so expressed, since they were the only people who attended to the minor and the other 19-month-old sister, who were in the small room of the the one that barely went out, only for the essentials ”. Likewise, it discards the accidental version provided by the defendants, since the expert evidence reflects the pain that the minor had to suffer due to the rupture of the liver.
The Chamber also considers the treachery proven, which has been questioned by those convicted in their appeal. In this sense, it specifies that “when talking about the death of a baby, of a five-month-old person, assuming maximum defenselessness, the conduct aimed at causing death is typical of treachery to the extent that death of a person is carried out in a way or form in which the defense capacities appear, completely and absolutely, annulled ”.