Belgian jailed 5 years for killing son

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A BELGIAN was sen­tenced to five years’ jail in Sin­ga­pore for killing his five-year-old son last year while suf­fer­ing from se­vere de­pres­sion dur­ing a child cus­tody bat­tle.

Philippe Graf­fart, 42, was sen­tenced on a re­duced charge of cul­pa­ble homi­cide in­stead of mur­der, af­ter psy­chi­atric find­ings showed he had “di­min­ished re­spon­si­bil­ity” for suf­fo­cat­ing his son Keryan with a pil­low in their apart­ment.

Mur­der is pun­ish­able by hang­ing in Sin­ga­pore.

Ju­di­cial com­mis­sioner Hoo Sheau Peng said she took into con­sid­er­a­tion the griev­ous na­ture of the of­fence, the fact that it had been com­mit­ted against a vul­ner­a­ble child, and the fact that the of­fender was the child’s own par­ent.

“This sen­tence is nec­es­sary to show that the ac­cused’s ac­tions are not to be con­doned,” Ms Hoo said.

For cul­pa­ble homi­cide with­out the in­ten­tion of caus­ing death, Graf­fart could have been jailed up to 10 years, caned and fined – or any com­bi­na­tion of the three penal­ties.

Graf­fart looked im­pas­sive when his sen­tence was read out, star­ing straight ahead at the judge.

His Sin­ga­porean lawyer Ramesh Ti­wary said af­ter the ses­sion that Keryan’s death is some­thing Graf­fart “will have to live with for the rest of his life”.

Court doc­u­ments showed Graf­fart was locked in a bit­ter cus­tody bat­tle over Keryan with his es­tranged French wife Gwen­do­line when he smoth­ered the boy with a cushion af­ter giv­ing him a seda­tive on Oc­to­ber 5, 2015.

Af­ter the killing he un­suc­cess­fully tried to com­mit sui­cide by crash­ing his car be­fore giv­ing him­self up to po­lice. –

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