Sunday, 27 January 2013

Typhaine Taton: Mother and Step-father Guilty of Murder and Faking Disappearance (Part 2)

Anne-Sophie Faucheur and Nicolas Willot at a press conference June 24th 2009  (Transcript to follow)

The fatal evening of June 10th 2009

On the evening of the tragedy, Typhaine "wasn't going to sleep and was walking around in her room," which "infuriated," her mother. "The beating" started: smacks, slaps, punches, kicks. "It was very hard," admits the accused. "Then I took up a pair of trainers and I hit her in the stomach. She went to the floor. She would have had a hard time walking. I don't remember any more, but she must have cried," she goes on. Nicolas Willot explains clearly, almost coldly, having "held her up by her armpits while Anne-Sophie hit her so that she wouldn't fall to the floor." The beating was followed by a "long cold shower," to "calm," Typhaine. 

The couple go back to sit in front of the telly, to watch the film "Rasta Rocket." The little girl gives out "a rattle," before collapsing in the shower. "I tried to revive her. I didn't succeed," says Nicolas Willot, a volunteer fireman.

Did the couple want to kill Typhaine? That's one of the central questions of this trial. Both respond with a negative. According to the expert psychiatrist, Roland Coutanceau, there wasn't "a conscious wish to kill on the part of the mother." Doctor Ameziane Ait-Menguellet's opinion is the opposite "a determination that can only be explained by a wish to have an end to it." 

Staging the disappearance

According to the version from the two accused, Anne-Sophie Faucheur wanted to give herself up once the child's death was discovered. But her partner, for "fear of going to prison," and of "losing the other children," (Caroline and Apolline, their daughter) conceals Typhaine's naked body in the cellar with a plastic sack. The body would stay there for eight days, "until after Apolline's baptism," before being buried by Nicolas in a forest in the Charleroi area (Belgium) 

There again, as in the case of Marina, a plan is set in motion to make it look like an abduction. Typhaine's mother reports her daughter's disappearance on June 18th 2009. She states that she lost her in the street, in the centre of Maubeuge. The couple even go as far as giving a press conference at the end of June, launching an appeal to the whole of France to find Typhaine. 

"She doesn't behave like a mother who has just lost a child"

In spite of this staging, the police officers' doubts are rapidly focused on the couple. From Anne-Sophie Faucheur's first interview, "we sensed the lies in her claims. She wasn't behaving like a mother who had just lost a five-year-old child in the streets of Maubeuge," one of them reported in the witness box.

"Making salacious jokes about the presiding judge, masturbating in the evening on porn sites, going onto dating sites, dancing at a baptism, at a wedding, partying, having dinner parties, making wedding plans..Everything that was seen from the surveillance van was a long way, a very long way from the image of the devastated couple they had wanted to present at a press conference," another said. 

"Inconsistencies" leaped out at the investigators: Typhaine's absence from her little sister Apolline's baptism on June 13th, and then Nicolas Willot's telephone request to his father to provide a false witness statement. On September 22nd, a text message sent by Anne-Sophie Faucheur, after her interview by a presiding judge, in which she details for her partner Typhaine's last meal on the day of her alleged disappearance, designed to convince the investigators. 

The confessions and the discovery of the body

During a second time in custody, the mother cracks after 12 hours. She confesses to having seen Typhaine die but claims an accident. Her partner gives up in his turn. The theory of a punishment that went wrong takes shape up to a clear account of the events. 

The little girl, buried naked face down in the ground, is found on December 9th 2009, following the step-father's directions. 

The post-mortem on the body, which was in "an advanced state of decomposition,"did not lead to "an established cause of death."But the body retained evidence of physical violence," a Belgian doctor, François Beauthier, explained. And listing the horror: "recent traumatic injury, facture of the left orbital bone, sprain to the left wrist, torsion fracture to the left elbow, fracture of the pubic bone and bruising to the left buttock." "Recent fractures," that correspond to violent and necessarily painful strikes.

"Why did you kill her?" Typhaine's grandmother insists. "Sometimes, she had a hard look and I was convinced that she was giving me nasty looks (...) I never felt like I was her mother. There was no connection," Anne-Sophie Faucheur said. 

Catherine Fournier

francetvinfo 26/01/2013


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