Parents accused of beating boy, 8, locking him in chest

An 8-year-old boy who was found emaciated and neglected on a campground in Winterswijk in July, was beaten, tied up and locked in a chest, the Public Prosecutor revealed in a pro-forma hearing against the boy's parents on Tuesday. The boy's father partly confessed to the abuse, AD reports. 

The court in Zutphen decided that both parents will stay in custody for the time being, and that they will go to the Pieter Baan Center for psychiatric evaluations. The couple is accused of abuse and unlawful deprivation of liberty.

The 34-year-old father partly confessed to abusing his son, according to his lawyer Simone Voldeba. "He admitted to the abuse, but for a shorter period than the seven weeks he's charged with. We don't know yet what we are going to do with the deprivation of liberty", she said, according to the newspaper.

The 34-year-old mother denies any involvement. "The children are the most important thing in my life", she told the court in tears. She wouldn't say much about the chest the 8-year-old boy was locked in, according to the Prosecutor. "I saw it a few days before we were arrested, what happened with it I do not know."

The Public Prosecutor believes that the woman knew very well that her son was being neglected, starved and abused. 

Both of the parents' lawyers made a wide range of investigation requests. Among other things, they wanted to question the boy and his sister again, as well as the woman's parents. The court rejected both these requests. The court did agree that a number of campground guests can be called as witnesses, and that the defense can watch a recording of the children's first questioning. A doctor will also be called in to determine whether the boy was so skinny due to malnutrition or due to a fungal infection.