His lawyer stands two meters away from him, a roll of paper towels in her hand, from which she hands him sheets at regular intervals. The face ravaged by tears Fabrice faces the president of the Orleans court, who demanded the most complete silence in the room to be able to listen to him:“I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol for two years, a month and six days”
loose the man, devastated. Two years, one month and six days ago,Fabrice’s son died in his arms, in their pavilion, near Châteauneuf-sur-Loire
. On the night of October 3-4, 2020, the 37-year-old father came home late from a family party. An evening during which Fabrice drank. A lot. Tired, his wife came home first, with the children. When he pushes the door open, everyone is already asleep. Awakened by the noise,her one-month-old son starts crying
. Fabrice decides to go get him and prepares a bottle for him. “I always got up at night to feed, change my children’s diapers,” he explains. Fabrice settles down on the sofa, turns on the TV to have some company and begins to give his son milk. “He never drank all at once, he took a little break. He always took a 5-10 min break.
That’s where I fell asleep…”
A death by “positional asphyxia” The next morning, when his wife gets up around 9:30 a.m., the baby is not in its crib. He is lying on the edge of the sofa, next to his sleeping father.
The child has a white face, dotted with red spots, a slightly flattened nose. He is no longer breathing. The Samu doctors were unable to resuscitate him. The autopsy, which revealed no trace of violence, concluded thatone death from “positional asphyxia”
. What exactly happened so that the child could no longer breathe? Nobody knows. Fabrice is appearing this Thursday for manslaughter before the Orléans court. When the gendarmes were notified of the tragedy by the Samu, he displayeda blood alcohol level greater than one gram per liter of blood
Two years later, the treatment he started has in no way alleviated his feeling of guilt.
“I’m punished for life, it’s not a psychiatrist who will take that away from me,” he said angrily. On the other hand, he can count on the support of his wife. If her companion’s alcohol problems have rocked their couple in the past, she stands by his side in this trial. “Despite what happened, he is a very good father with his children, she assures the president.We are very tight today.
Guilty but absolved of punishment? What sanction should society inflict on this negligent father who lost his child? In his submissions,
the public prosecutor distinguishes guilt and punishment. “Why send this man to court? I wondered and I did not necessarily see the point, admits Éric Sandjivy. But we are here to do law. You will not be able to escape guilt, sir. We are faced with a fault of imprudence.
Even slight, it is sufficient to characterize the offence. The fault is to have been under the influence of an alcoholic state that evening.”
This does not prevent the prosecutor from requesting an exemption from sentence.
“I believe he has paid enough. He will pay all his life,” he concludes.His lawyer, Me Coraly Vincent, agrees. “Even without alcohol, there is a careless mistake
. There was extreme fatigue that night,” she admits, adding that a waiver would help the family rebuild. Because sincethe couple had another child
. A baby who is almost a year old and whom Fabrice has never dared to take in his arms to give him the bottle.The court will deliver its decision on Monday, November 14.
The first name has been changed.
An infant victim of shaken baby syndrome in Briare, his father remanded in custody