Former 'mother of the year' on trial for child abuse

Court gavel. Photo is illustrative.
Court gavel. Photo is illustrative. Source: Blogtrepreneur/Wikimedia Commons

A former winner of the Mother of the Year award may be jailed for child abuse, Baltic News Service reports.

The prosecutor's office is seeking real jail time for Malle Kobin, 2013's mother of the year, whose trial started in late May, in respect of alleged child abuse which involved striking five minors who had been placed in her care, with both hands and feet, as well as treatment including being made to stand in one location over a long duration.

"The maximum possible combined sentence for the acts Malle Kobin stands accused of is five years in prison," said prosecutor Indrek Kalda.

"In the case of persons who have not previously been convicted of a criminal offense, the possibility of conditional non-execution of the sentence (i.e. a suspended sentence – ed.) is always considered. In the statement of charges, the prosecutor's office assessed Malle Kobin's crimes to be more serious than average, and asked her to be handed a real prison sentence of four and a half years in court proceedings held on June 18," Kalda said.

Kobin, 68, pleads not guilty to the charge of abusing five children in her care over the period 2016-2019.

The Western District Prosecutor's Office says Kobin repeatedly struck the minors, who lived with Kobin at her home on Hiiumaa, aged 9-17, with her hands and feet, and forced them to stand alone in one location for hours at a time, by way of punishment.

The children had been housed with Kobin under a replacement care service contract.

The trial began on May 26 and takes place behind closed doors, at Pärnu County Court.

Kobin's defense lawyer says all charges should be dropped.

The court is due to rule on August 24.

A criminal investigation was launched in August 2019, when the Social Insurance Board (Sotsiaalkindlustusamet) filed a report of criminal offense.

Kobin was presented the award in 2013 by then-president Toomas Hendrik Ilves. In 2016 she ran for election to the Center Party's governing board.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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