The father of Sharleyne, an eight-year-old found dead at the base of a tower block three years ago, demanded €100,000 in compensation from the mother in court on Friday.
In the third day of a case charging the mother Hélène J with either murder or manslaughter, the court heard – reports NOS broadcaster – that Victor Remouchamps wants compensation for post-traumatic stress and his efforts in bringing the case to court.
He had separated from the mother in 2011 but has claimed he warned youth care services before the child’s death that she was in danger and should be removed from the 10th-floor apartment in Hoogeveen.
Initially, the public prosecution service had not found enough evidence to prosecute, but Remouchamps believed his eight-year-old had not accidentally fallen or committed suicide and told NOS broadcaster that ‘there were indications that evidence in her bedroom had been staged.’
He brought a case to the court of appeal, which ordered the Dutch prosecution service to reopen the investigation and two years after the girl’s death, the mother was arrested for murder or manslaughter.
In court today, a judge read out an e-mail from Remouchamps sent to emergency services a month before the child’s death reportedly saying that if Sharleyne did not change her attitude towards him, she would not be welcome with him any more, and that she had devastated his life.
The father told the court this was a cry for help after he had not been taken seriously by emergency services.
On Wednesday the court was told that Hélène J had a personality disorder and was a ‘serious alcoholic’. Before her death there had been reports about alcohol abuse, neglect and domestic violence from the mother, and the family had been monitored by social workers.
Hélène J said in an emotional appearance in court on Wednesday that she did not know what had happened but could not find her daughter.
‘She was not on the balcony,’ she reportedly said. ‘Then I looked over the balcony and saw her lying there.’ She admitted that she had been drinking that evening.
After splitting up in 2011, her parents stayed in the same house for some time, but a DNA test showed that Remouchamps was not the biological father of Sharleyne. She had his surname.