'Abusive mother' with her lawyer
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

'Starving mother' charged with abuse

Haredi community threatens to resume riots if house arrest conditions of woman accused of starving her toddler son are worsened

The State Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday filed an indictment with the Jerusalem District Court against a resident of the Mea Shearim neighborhood accused of starving her three-year-old son. The indictment includes a count of abuse of a helpless minor.


Meanwhile, the ultra-Orthodox community in the capital is threatening to resume its riots if the woman is arrested again or if the conditions of her house arrest are worsened.


The State Prosecutor's Office announced on Monday that it had formed an indictment against the woman in an affair which has stirred up the haredi community and led to a credibility crisis between the haredi sector and the health systems.


The woman was placed under house arrest about two weeks ago at the home of an ultra-Orthodox public activist, and was later allowed to return to her own home. She was first arrested in mid July, after her son was hospitalized at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem and doctors suspected that she had been starving him for two years until his weight fell to 7 kilograms (about 15 pounds).


The mother's arrest was preceded by repeated hospitalizations of the toddler, who arrived at the hospital for the first time in September 2007 with a high fever and refused to eat or drink.


Last weekend, the child left the medical center he had been transferred to and was taken in by one of his relatives.


One of the child's relative told Ynet the family was happy, but that "it hurts us that the mother cannot see him on the day he is released from hospital."


According to the relative, "We are very happy and satisfied with the child's release, and have not felt so good for two years. We have always remembered him with a feeding tube and attached to all kinds of machines, and he finally looks like a normal child – although he is not completely healthy yet."


Last week, Ynet revealed that Dr. Yaakov Weil, the psychiatrist who evaluated the woman, revoked his diagnosis that the she does not pose a danger to her other children or to her surroundings.


"I reached the conclusion that I would like to issue reservations to the court on my professional analysis that the examinee can continue carrying out a parental role to her children without any danger. I did not have the proper tools at my disposal to reach such a conclusion," wrote Dr. Weil in a letter.


Hospital staff had suspected at first that the woman was suffering from Munchausen syndrome and had sought the compassion of her relatives and the doctor by causing damage to her own son.


Ronen Medzini contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 08.04.09, 13:28
 new comment
This will delete your current comment