Mother can't remember anything after 8 y.o. daughter's fatal fall from Hoogeveen flat
The mother standing trial for the murder or manslaughter of her 8-year-old daughter Sharleyne in Hoogeveen in 2015, claims she can't remember anything after she saw her daughter's body lying outside their apartment building over the balustrade of their 10th floor home. "From then on it's black", she said in court on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.
The court wanted Helene J. to explain exactly what happened on the night of June 7th and early morning of June 8th, when the girl died. But J. said she can't remember anything due to the panic after seeing her daughter's body.
The woman remembers waking up because she was cold. She had left the balcony door open, because it had been hot earlier that night, and thought the draft came from there. When she closed the door, there was still a draft coming through the open window in Sharleyne's bedroom. The girl was not in her bed and when J. looked over the 10th floor balustrade, she saw her daughter's body, she said. From then on everything went "black" according to J. She can't remember anything, but does know that she had drunk a lot that evening. She did that often to forget her problems.
Witnesses said that J. did not go to her daughter immediately. Two residents of the building went outside after hearing a dull blow. They saw J. looking over the balustrade, return to her home, and then walk to the gallery on the second floor, where a friend of her's lived.
Police officers responded to the scene. They saw the woman walk out of the apartment building, seeming dazed. She went to her car. When an officer asked what she was doing, she said she was getting cigarettes. She had two full bottles of beer stuck into the waistline of her pants. The woman then fell to her knees and started crying.
The woman agreed with the court that the witnesses' statements are strange, but can not explain them because she can't remember. She denies involvement in her daughter's death.
According to the Public Prosecutor, the woman strangled her daughter and then threw her over the railing.
On Tuesday two forensic pathologists and a forensic doctor told the court about their finding in investigating the girl's cause of death. Vidija Soerdjbalie and Dela Kubat of the Netherlands Forensic Institute both said that Sharleyne was still alive when she fell. Dingeman Rijken said that he could not determine that. Rijken found indications that the girl was strangled before she fell. The other two experts could not conclusively say whether this was the case.
Sharleyne Remouchamps was found dead right outside her apartment building during the early hours of June 8th, 2015. She had fallen from the 10th floor. The initial conclusion of the investigation in 2015 was that the girl's death was accidental. But her father did not believe this and successfully filed an Article 12 procedure to force the Public Prosecutor to investigate further. This led to J.'s arrest in October last year.