French boy, three, dies after father 'puts him in washing machine and turns it on as punishment for throwing nursery classmate's drawing down toilet'
- 'I felt his heart beat for the last time and then he died'
Last updated at 7:52 AM on 29th November 2011
A 33-year-old man has been charged with murder after allegedly killing his three-year-old son by locking him in a washing machine and turning it on.
Christophe Champenois, from Meaux, near Paris, allegedly stripped Bastien naked and shut him in the machine to punish him for a prank at nursery school - throwing a classmate's drawing down a toilet.
He is then said to have run the cold cycle wash for a few minutes at their house, in the village of Germigny-l'Eveque.
His mother Charlene, 25, recovered him from the machine, according to Le Parisien newspaper.
She then ran to her neighbour, known only as Alice, and told her that Bastien had 'fallen down the stairs'.
Alice told Le Parisien: 'I picked him up and his limbs were as loose as those of a rag doll.
Bastien's five-year-old sister, Maud, told Alice's husband that it was not the first time the boy's father had put him in the washing machine as punishment.
Neighbours told the newspaper that the boy had been repeatedly abused - by being locked up for hours in a cupboard and also by being left on a window sill for hours wrapped in a blanket.
'On the day he was born, his father was out drinking and when I told him he had a son, he said that he didn't want him.'
A judge in Meaux placed unemployed Champenois under investigation for murdering his child and charged his wife, a mother of seven, with failing to prevent a crime and failing to assist a person in danger.
Both were placed in custody and their surviving children taken into care.