Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Swedish parents jailed for almost starving vegan toddler to death

Eighteen-month-old girl rushed to hospital unresponsive after primarily being fed breast milk, brown rice and potatoes, court hears

Chiara Giordano
Friday 24 May 2019 16:09 BST
Swedish parents jailed for almost starving vegan toddler to death

A couple who fed their baby a vegan diet have been jailed after the child almost “starved to death”.

The 18-month-old is said to have been fed a restricted diet primarily of breast milk, brown rice and potatoes, Gothenburg District Court heard.

The child was reportedly undernourished and just “hours from dying” when she was rushed to hospital in an unresponsive state in February, The Local reports.

Judge Per Nordén said that while the parents “did not intentionally harm their daughter”, doctors found her condition was caused by “prolonged starvation”.

One doctor described the girl’s condition as “worse than anything we have seen at the hospital before”.

The child is now being cared for by a foster parent, who said she is recovering well.

A statement from the court, obtained by The Local, said that the girl’s birth had not been registered.

It read: “According to their ideological belief that the daughter was a citizen of the world, her parents did not even report the birth to any authority, have her checked at a paediatric centre, or even weigh or measure her growth.”

Independent Minds Q&A session on the Middle East, Trump, Syria and Isis

The court added that the child had also never been examined by a doctor or vaccinated.

Prosecutor Ximena Bene pushed for the parents to be jailed for two or three years, arguing that her malnourished state had led to her life-threatening condition.

However lawyers representing the parents argued it could not be proven that the girl’s condition was caused by anything other than a stomach bug.

The court’s judgment on Thursday morning, seen by The Local, ruled that the parents’ “serious negligence had put their daughter in a life-threatening situation”.

The couple were jailed for three months and ordered to pay 60,000 kronor (about £5,000) in damages to their daughter.

Once they are released, they will spend eight weeks living with the girl at a supervised residential care facility while they are monitored by social services.

The father was also sentenced for several other minor crimes including drugs offences and drink driving.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in