Story By: Kathryn Quinn, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
The dad of a six-year-old who died after allegedly being attacked by his wife’s new lover claims he was not allowed to see his kids before the youngster was killed.
The child’s stepfather David H., who has previous GBH convictions, faces murder charges after allegedly beating Leonie, 6, so badly that she died.
Now the birth father of Leonie from Torgelow, in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany claims he had not been allowed to see Leonie or her younger brother for almost two-years despite going to court and being granted access to them.
Father Oliver E., 28, said in court: “Now I know why, If I had seen them I would have seen the injuries.”
The father claims he only learned about his daughter’s death from an article in a newspaper and immediately called the stepfather David H.
Oliver E, said: “He told me on the phone that Leonie had fallen down the stairs. I put the phone down, went to my bedroom and collapsed onto my knees. I had a complete nervous breakdown.”
Father Oliver claimed that: “When I last saw them Noah was very shy and Leonie didn’t want to leave my side. But I did not have the impression that there was anything wrong with the children.”
Leonie’s grandmother told the court that her daughter planned to leave the alleged killer just days before Leonie’s death.
On the day of Leonie’s death, her mother Janine went shopping and left Leonie with her stepfather in the apartment.
When she returned, the child was ‘disorientated’ according to the mother and her partner claimed that Leonie had fallen down the stairs. Mother Janine wanted to call for help but David H. allegedly hid her phone and after dinner together Leonie went to bed.
At 7:26pm that evening David H. called for an ambulance but Leonie was already dead.
Her body was covered in injuries including numerous broken bones all over her body as well as bleeds on her brain.
The postmortem confirmed numerous broken bones and bleeding on her brain.
Two days after Leonie’s death David H. was questioned by police and he was told that Leonie’s injuries suggested that he was to blame for her death. David H. then fled and went into hiding. Only a few days later did he present himself to police again.
However David H. claims that Leonie died as a result of falling down the stairs at her home in Torgelow, a municipality in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.
The Public Prosecutor in Neubrandenburg, a city in the south-east of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, where the trial is due to take place today (Tues), accuses David H. of abusing and beating Leonie causing her to die of her injuries.
Leonie’s mother Janine, 25, moved to live with David H. in Torgelow together with Leonie and her 3-year-old brother Noah just over a year ago. David H. and Janine have since had another child together.
It is alleged that David H. started to abuse his stepchildren shortly after they moved in together. The Public Prosecutor has documented at least seven such occurrences in the law suit against David H.
The court claims that the day of her death was not the first time Leonie was injured at the hands of her stepfather.
Last November, she was allegedly pushed so badly to the floor in her bedroom that she as left with injuries. A few days later, her then 2-year-old brother was allegedly thrown against the wall leaving him with a bleeding head injury.
Just before Christmas, David H. is accused of hitting Leonie’s head against the wall and kicking her in the stomach. Weeks later Leonie was allegedly punched in the face and pleaded with David H. to stop, according to her mother Janine.
It is not known why the mother did not intervene. Police are also investigating the mother’s role and whether she failed to help the children.
The trial continues.
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