A father who fed his daughter formula mixed with sleeping pills has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
On January 13, a father gave his 100-day-old daughter formula mixed with a sleeping pill with Zolpidem. Zolpidem is a medication used to help people fall asleep and can only be prescribed for adults. It was revealed that the father obtained the sleeping pills from a hospital.
When the baby was in critical condition, the father held his daughter but did not request any help from the authorities despite witnessing her vomiting after falling unconscious. His daughter was born between him and a woman with whom he had a common-law relationship.
The father, who was wanted for fraud, chose not to report the incident due to fear of arrest and abandoned his daughter. Eventually, his daughter died from suffocation.
The court stated they were not convinced by the father abandoning the child due to fear of arrest.
The defendant left his daughter unattended for an hour while she vomited and formula flowed from her nose until his wife returned. The argument that he abandoned the child due to fear of arrest is not convincing. It is acknowledged that he knowingly left her to die even after realizing something was wrong, and it does not appear to be an accident that he fed her Zolpidem.
— The court
During the trial held on September 21, the prosecution sought a 10-year prison term, as they considered the nature of the crime to be severe.
The defendant, without remorse, denies the crime, claiming it was a mere accident to feed Zolpidem to his daughter who was barely over 100 days old. Given the nature of the crime, his culpability is severe.
— The court
At that time, the father insisted that he accidentally mixed the sleeping pill in the drink and denied the charges.
I live in a semi-basement, so even during the day, the house is dark. I accidentally used the water with the sleeping that I was going to drink when making the formula… It was not intentional. I performed artificial respiration and cardiopulmonary rescuscition at the time.
— The father
However, the court did not accept the father’s claims, citing discrepancies between the time he asserted and the actual estimated time when the formula was administered and the fact that he sent money to his wife’s account due to concerns about the arrest in an urgent situation.
The 11th Criminal Division of the Daejeon District Court sentenced the father on October 19 for charges including child abuse resulting in death.