A daycare worker was given a two year suspended sentence and fined €800 for her abusive and degrading treatment of children she cared for, including insulting and force-feeding them.
Authorities summoned the woman, identified as Christel S., in December after one of her colleagues in the daycare, located in the Walloon city of Jodoigne, south of Leuven, reported her behaviour.
The colleague said that she made the decision to denounce her colleague before authorities in January 2018, following numerous failed attempts to talk the accused out of her behaviour.
During the hearings, the court was able to access a series of videos that the woman’s colleague filmed as proof of her treatment of the children attending the daycare.
The videos, backed up with witness testimonies, allowed the court to determine that the woman had carried out a series of degrading acts against the children, including making them sit still for hours, sometimes in an unheated hallway, yelling obscenities or manhandling them.
Additionally, if they refused to eat, she was also found to have force-fed them by pinching their nose to force them to open their mouth as well as to force them to eat their own vomit.
The woman, who is in her late forties, reportedly said she was shocked at her own behaviour after seeing the videos in the court, which she said she did not remember or understand.
She received a probationary sentence and was barred from entering into any activities, paid or otherwise, which would put her in contact with children, as well as ordered to undergo psychiatric follow-ups.
The Brussels Times