Custodial sentences for parents of the “balcony boy”


A mother and stepfather, who made their 6 year old son stand outside on a balcony in freezing cold conditions over the festive holiday, have been sent to prison by the Belgian courts.

The incident occured on Boxing Day last year as the child was shut outside on a balcony wearing just his pyjamas in temperatures close to freezing as a punishment for taking a pancake out of the kitchen cupboard without permission. Both the boy and his twin sister were taken to hospital at the time with both showing signs of abuse and malnutrition.

The mother has been sentenced to 6 years imprisonment while the stepfather has been given a term of 5 years. Both sentences were more lenient than what the Belgian public prosecutor had demanded. The Judge in the case said that the incident was a very serious matter, made worse by the mothers refusal to accept any wrongdoing.

It also emerged as a result of the investigation into the incident that neither child were registered at a school and that both the boy and his sister were often subjected to corporal punishment and starvation.