An old woman died because her sons neglected her


The sentencing panel agreed with the motion for aggravation of the Debrecen Appeals General Prosecutor’s Office in the case of the defendants who left their mother out in the cold.

The defendants lived in a house with a garden in a town in Hajdúság with their 60-year-old mother. A few years before her death, the woman suffered from an illness similar to a stroke, but after that, she took care of herself and her sons, but she often became forgetful and confused. Although the defendants constantly noticed the deterioration of her condition, they did not take care of her medical treatment, and her care was seriously neglected. Due to the lack of care, the victim became extremely emaciated, repeatedly begged for food from her neighbors when she was hungry and lived in inhumane conditions in a dirty, garbage-filled apartment without water or electricity. In 2019, she gradually deteriorated physically and psychologically. The people living in her neighborhood called for her to be taken care of several times, but the defendants rejected this every time.

In December 2019, the man returning home from work noticed that the victim was seriously ill. The ambulance service started CPR on the spot and then took her to the hospital, but the woman died shortly after. Her death was caused by a metabolic disorder due to hypothermia. The victim had a very low body temperature, looked extremely neglected, and was malnourished. She did not consume an adequate quantity and quality of food and liquid for several days before her death, as she did not receive it from her sons. Bedsores were visible on her body.

Although the defendants admitted to the failure to take care of their mother, they denied their guilt. According to their defense, the reason for the mother’s physical deterioration was that she refused their help. However, the court did not accept their defense. In his judgment, he found that the victim’s death could have been avoided if the defendants had properly fulfilled their duty of care, and provided for her feeding, medical treatment and adequate heating of the apartment building. It is a well-known, common life experience that failure to do these things can lead to the death of the person concerned, but the defendants acted in peace with this consequence.

The prosecutor’s office suggested that the punishment of the accused is aggravated, that it be carried out in a penitentiary instead of prison for the crime of manslaughter committed against a defenseless person.

The judgment of the Debrecen Judicial Board, agreeing with the position of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Appeal, changed the decision of the tribunal. He established the degree of execution of the defendants’ prison sentence in a penitentiary instead of prison, and in the case of one of the defendants, he aggravated the duration of the punishment from 5 years to 6 years, as well as the additional punishment of disqualification from public affairs.

The judgment is final.


Debrecen Court

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