French mother gets 18 months sentence for leaving child alone for 2 years


A 39-year-old woman in France has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for abandoning her nine-year-old son in their apartment for two years, KSL reported.

Alexandra left her son to live alone in their apartment from 2020 to 2022 while she lived with her partner in another apartment five kilometres away and visited him occasionally.

The boy spent the two years surviving on cake, canned goods, and stolen tomatoes.

Nersac Mayor Barbara Couturier reported that despite the occasional unavailability of hot water or heating, he continued attending school and was a good student.

She alerted local and national police after the mother requested social services to help buy food.

Couturier explained: “I met his mom in May 2022. She came to tell us that she had financial problems, and we gave her four vouchers for food, but she took some processed food products instead so that made me suspicious.

“Some residents told me that there was a child living alone, so I connected the two things and I called the local police and the national police.”

A French media outlet reported that 12 months of the mother’s sentence have been suspended, and she will serve the remaining six months under home confinement.

The judge dismissed Alexandra’s claim that she lived in the flat with her son, citing contradictory evidence from neighbours and local police.

The child has been under social services care since September 19, 2022, according to the mayor.

The little boy’s self-reliance helped keep authorities away, as his friends revealed that he ate alone, travelled alone, and preferred staying home, according to a Mirror report.

Neighbours expressed guilt for not intervening sooner to stop the neglect, saying that modern life’s privacy helped hide the mother’s actions for so long.

“When there was a family and a village around the family, if the mother neglected the child, it didn’t matter too much, because the rest of the family and the whole village took care of the child. It’s not like that any more,” one resident said. __The News