Accused in the Valdres case present at appeal

Beitostølen valdres casePolice technicians work in the cabin at Beitostølen, where a 13-years-old girl was found dead. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Accused mother in the Valdres case present at the appeal

The mother in the Valdres case says she will be present when the Court of Appeal starts processing the case against her on Tuesday. A  specialist on diabetes is appearing before the court as well, both as an expert witness and to assist the accused if she suffers from hypoglycemia during the trial.

 

The woman was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by the District Court. She appealed the verdict. The proceedings start in Eidsivating Court of Appeal at Hamar on Tuesday.

Angelica Heggelund (13) was found dead in a cabin at Beitostølen in Valdres on New Year’s Eve, 2015. The autopsy revealed that she died of emaciation – possibly in combination with low body temperature.

Will be present

Her mother’s Defence Lawyer, Aasmund Olav Sandland, has previously stated to Dagbladet that it is uncertain whether she appears in court. She now confirms that she will be there.

“I will be present at Hamar on Tuesday,” the 47-years-old tells the newspaper.

The mother has denied guilt right from the start. She believes that the police and prosecutors have constructed the criminal case against her. She further states that the case is a strain on both her and her family.

Diabetes

The mother was indicted for gross abuse. The case came up before the Valdres District Court at Gjøvik in April 2017. The next day the case was interrupted because she suffered from such low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) that she had to be sent to the local hospital by ambulance. This was repeated when the treatment of the case was resumed in February 2018.

According to the Bærum based newspaper, Budstikka, will Court Consultant and Diabetes Expert, Tore Julsrud Berg, be present throughout the case. He was summoned as the prosecutor’s witness when the case was processed at Gjøvik. He was even the one who treated the defendant during the fluctuations in her blood sugar levels.

Fewer witnesses

The number of witnesses this time has decreased significantly – from around 75 to 50. Questions regarding the alleged bullying of the girl – and the follow-up of that at her various schools – are not part of the evidence this time around, reports NRK.

“There are questions related to allegations of bullying of the girl during her adolescence, and the follow-up on this at various schools, which now do not become part of the evidence,” according to Senior State Prosecutor, Arne Ingvald Dymbe.

“We believe these are issues that are not important in relation to the indictment. The case is therefore somewhat limited. There are fewer witnesses, and less time has been set aside for the case,” Dymbe informed earlier in January.

The woman’s defence is satisfied with the change.

Caused the death of her daughter

Valdres District Court established that:

«The mother, by gross negligence, caused the death of her daughter by denying her access to vital health care. The mother also hid just how sick the daughter was; while they lived almost completely isolated at the cabin during the months leading up to her death.»

«The defendant’s prolonged choice not to provide Angelica with vital health care had such a great potential for injury; that she has acted with gross negligence with regard to the ensuing death,» the court’s verdict further states.

Lied to Public Authorities

The District Court believed the mother had plenty of time to reflect on her choices and that she had the opportunity to change the course of events so that the outcome might have been something else than the death of the 13-years-old. Judge Pål Presteseter stated that the mother repeatedly lied to Public Authorities to deny her daughter vital health care.

The woman’s defence, in their turn, believed that she had to be acquitted and that she could not be punished for the death, as the daughter suffered from Anorexia. The Valdres District Court rejected this claim.

The court believed that the mother, who was the sole caretaker of Angelica, had a particular responsibility to attend to her daughter’s needs and interests, as she was not fit to comprehend these herself – due to her mental illness.

It is set aside three weeks for the Court of Appeal’s processing of the case.

Facts

  • Angelica Heggelund (13) was found dead in a cabin at Beitostølen in Valdres on New Year’s Eve, 2015. The autopsy revealed that she died of emaciation – possibly in combination with low body temperature.
  • The girl’s 47-years-old mother was charged with gross abuse with ensuing death. The case came up before the Valdres District Court on April 24, 2017. The case was held at the courthouse at Gjøvik. Six weeks was set aside for the case, but it was interrupted and postponed, as the mother was sent away by ambulance on the second day of the proceedings.
  • Court-appointed experts have found that the woman is criminally liable.
  • On February 26th, 2018, the court proceedings at Gjøvik courthouse resumed. On April 4th, the prosecutor presented his procedure and applied for imprisonment for four years, one year of which to be conditional with a probation period of two years. The proceedings ended with the defence procedure on April 5th, requesting an acquittal.
  • The woman was subsequently sentenced to three years in prison on May 15th, 2018. The verdict was later appealed. the case will come up before the Eidsivating Court of Appeal at Hamar on Tuesday, January 15th. Three weeks are set aside for the proceedings.
  • The County Governors Office of Oslo, Akershus and Oppland believe that the child welfare service in both Bærum and Øystre Slidre has committed criminal offences in their treatment of the 13-years-old.
  • The death triggered the investigation of three schools where the girl has been a pupil. The report concludes that the schools have done a lot to aid the girl, but they were nevertheless criticised for non-compliance to procedures.

(Sources: NTB, VG).



© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today



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