Barking couple jailed for 15 years each for nearly killing toddler


- Credit: Archant

A couple from Barking have been jailed for 15 years each today for causing a baby girl such horrific injuries that a paramedic thought she was a corpse.

Raphael Belinga, 45, and Teodora Predescu, 34, from Barking, were found guilty of GBH with intent at Snaresbrook Crown Court on February 26 after subjecting the youngster to eight months of abuse.

Sentencing them at the same court this afternoon, Judge Martyn Zeidman QC said: “How is it possible to be so cruel, to torture an innocent child?

“It was not a one-off act of temper but a sustained and continuing attack over many days. When the medics arrived they thought [the baby] was a corpse.

“Paramedics must see some awful cases but this witness observed that in his 17 years of doing the job he has never seen a worse case. Apart from the smashed or non existent lips, the horrifying extensive bruising and the marks from bites and burning, this baby had also been starved.”

Speaking directly to Predescu he said: “At the scene, the medics said you showed no emotion and had to be encouraged to hug or touch the dying baby. When arrested you lied and tried to convince the police that this had all happened by her falling down the stairs.”

Both Belinga and Predescu were sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison.

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Officers called at the house in Barking on August 25 after concerns were raised about the child’s welfare.

The one-year-old was found motionless on a bed with extensive bruising to her head, face and body, two black eyes, a split upper lip, a cauliflower ear and abrasions to her body.

She was suffering such severe malnutrition that she was immediately airlifted to the Royal London Hospital.

The prosecution said that the child was recovering well.