March 30, 2011
- 11-month-old Louise weighed only 12.5lb at her death
- Parents adopted lifestyle after watching TV programme about butchered cows
A vegan couple who solely fed mother’s milk to their baby daughter before she died because of vitamin deficiency were facing life prison sentences today.
Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou appeared before a judge and jury in Amiens, northern France, charged with neglect of Louise, their 11-month-old child.
Both are militant vegans whose diet forbids them eating any animal products whatsoever, and they only use alternative medicine.
They took up the lifestyle after watching a TV programme about cows being slaughtered, with Mr Le Moaligou setting up a biological food business which recently went bankrupt.
Mrs Le Moaligou, who is now 40, called an ambulance in March 2008 after her daughter started sweating profusely and crying, and appeared to have no energy.
By the time the emergency services arrived at the family home in Saint Maulvis, a village in the Somme region north of Paris, Louise was dead.
She only weighed 5.7 kilos (12.5 pounds), compared to an average eight kilos for children of the same age.
‘They preferred applying clay or cabbage poultices whose recipes they found in their books. These are people who read the wrong thing at the wrong time.’
Mr Le Moaligou’s lawyer, Patrick Quenel, said the couple remained committed vegans and were ‘wholly aware of the mistake they made’, but pleaded not guilty.
The Le Moaligous were formally charged with ‘neglect and food deprivation followed by death’ which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years.
The Le Moaligou case is believed to be the first time that a couple have faced a prison sentence for a crime directly linked to a vegan lifestyle.