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CRIME

Bruised baby treated for ‘cocaine overdose’

A mother of three in Sicily has been jailed after her toddler son was admitted to hospital with bruises, scratches, burns and a suspected cocaine overdose.

Bruised baby treated for 'cocaine overdose'
The woman's partner stands accused of allowing the baby to ingest cocaine. Cocaine photo: Shutterstock

The 18-month-year-old boy, named by La Repubblica as Samuele, was admitted to a children’s hospital in Palermo, Sicily, in December 2011 in a life-threatening condition.

Doctors examining the child found small bruises and scratches all over his body as well as burn marks on his hands.

A large concentration of cocaine was also discovered in the child’s urine suggesting the child could have suffered from an overdose.

The mother and her partner – both drug addicts – were accused of leaving cocaine on the table which was then ingested by the child and their two other children. However, the mother was acquitted of allowing the child to take cocaine.

According to the prosecutor, the mother repeatedly hit the child in the head and face and allowed his brother to hurt him. This version of events was backed up by the woman’s partner, who also admitted to taking cocaine with the mother.

The mother had claimed that the child acquired the injuries when he fell from his highchair. However investigators failed to find a highchair at the woman’s place of residence.

On Wednesday morning the mother was sentenced to three years in prison for abuse and bodily harm.

The woman’s partner will appear in court on May 28th where he will face charges of allowing the baby to ingest cocaine.

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ROME

‘Bank robber’ rescued in Rome after tunnel collapses

Four people were arrested in Rome after a suspected would-be bank robber was rescued from a tunnel under a road, police said on Friday.

'Bank robber' rescued in Rome after tunnel collapses

An Italian man had to be rescued after becoming trapped in a collapsed tunnel near the Vatican, suspected of being part of a gang burrowing its way to a nearby bank.

Firefighters spent eight hours digging him out from under a road in the west of Rome, before he was finally freed on Thursday evening and taken to hospital.

“Two people from Naples were arrested for resisting a public official and two, from Rome, for damage” to public property, a police spokesman told AFP.

The rescued man, one of the two Romans, remains in hospital, he said without giving an update on his condition.

“We are still investigating, we do not exclude that they are thieves, it is one of the theories,” he said.

For Italian newspapers, however, the motive was clear, with reports noting the tunnel was found near a bank ahead of the August 15th long weekend, when residents traditionally head out of town and much of Rome is left empty.

“The hole gang,” headlined newspapers Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, while La Stampa said: “They dig a tunnel to rob a bank, and one of them is buried underground.”

Other reports referred to the suspected burglar as l’uomo-talpa, or ‘mole man’.

An AFP reporter at the scene on Thursday saw the man brought out alive on a stretcher, after a day-long operation involving dozens of emergency service workers using mechanical diggers.

The tunnel began underneath an empty shop that had recently been rented.

“We all thought that the people there were renovating the place. So we had no suspicions and we did not hear noises either,” a resident, Michele, who lives in the same building told AFP.

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