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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019

Man accused of killing son, 3, by shoving him into washing machine - and turning it on

Christophe Champenois, 33, is accused of forcing his son into a washing machine – and turning it on – over playschool misbehaviour.

A FRENCH MAN has been arrested on suspicion of killing his three-year-old son by locking him into a washing machine and turning it on.

Christophe Champenois, 33, is alleged to have have forced his son Bastien into the machine as a ‘punishment’ for misbehaving at his nursery school last Friday.

It is suggested that the child, who was naked at the time, was locked into the machine – which was then put onto a cold wash cycle – for several minutes.

A neighbour told Le Parisien newspaper that the boy’s mother Charlene had approached her seeking help shortly after she was able to free her son from the machine.

“I took the little boy in my arms – he was frozen, completely naked,” the neighbour – identified only as Alice – told that paper.

He was all white, limp, practically like a toy… I took him in my arms like a broken doll. I felt the last beat of his heart.

Charlene didn’t move. She was red all over. She didn’t understand he was dead.

Sky News Australia quoted a local police spokesman who said Charlene had herself also been arrested, for ‘non-assistance of a person in danger’.

It also said that Bastien’s misdemeanour was to throw a classmate’s drawing into a toilet earlier that day. He is officially said to have died from a blow to the head.

The Daily Telegraph cited a local official who said the family had been receiving social help for “social and psychological distress” since 2006.

Today’s Le Parisien, interviewing Christophe’s mother, said her son had found out last week he had an inoperable brain tumour – and that he had not wanted to be a father in the first place.

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Gavan Reilly

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