On Friday, the court in Amsterdam indefinitely postponed the criminal trial around a sheepdog biting a baby to death. This is because the two suspects in the case, the child’s grandparents, had not appeared in court. The court finds that they should be at the trial.
The 8-month-old boy was staying at his grandparents’ house in Diemen on 22 October 2019 when the couple’s sheepdog bit him on the head. The baby died a day later. The dog was put down after the dramatic incident.
At the time, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) found that the two grandparents could not be held criminally liable and dismissed the case. Their now former daughter-in-law, the child’s mother, was not satisfied with this. She believes that the grandparents are indeed to blame. Using the special procedure for this purpose, the woman complained to the court to force criminal prosecution. The court ordered the OM to prosecute.
On Friday, the court called it very important that the two suspects (68 and 65 years old) are present during the trial. The court also indicated this in recent correspondence with the two’s lawyers. The fact that they ultimately chose not to appear “surprised us,” the presiding judge said.
The lawyers representing the two suspects believed that the trial could continue because their clients had already made numerous statements about the events in the run-up to the trial. “If they were here now, they wouldn’t say anything else,” said one of the lawyers. The public prosecutor also thought the trial could continue in their absence, saying it would be in the interest of the mother of the deceased child to get it done.
The court nevertheless stuck to its earlier position: the suspects must be present. It will force them to be present at the next hearing.
Earlier this week, it was announced that a baby in Emmeloord was bitten by a dog on August 24, with a fatal outcome.
EenVandaag reported on Thursday that plastic surgeons have registered about a hundred serious biting incidents involving dongs from October 2021 to July 2023. Young children are often the victims: 21 percent were younger than six years old, and 11 percent were babies.
https://nltimes.nl/2023/09/01/court-postpones-case-around-dog-bit-baby-death Court postpones case around dog that bit baby to death