French woman says killing baby like 'going shopping'

2016-06-21 19:39
A court sketch of Fabienne Kabou. (Benoit Peyrucq, AFP)

A court sketch of Fabienne Kabou. (Benoit Peyrucq, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Saint-Omer - A French woman who left her baby to drown on a beach gave a chilling account of the murder on Tuesday, telling a court it was as perfunctory as "going shopping".

Fabienne Kabou, 39, who has blamed witchcraft for her acts, detailed the final hours of her 15-month-old daughter's life on the second day of a trial into the 2013 murder which shocked France.

She said she left her home in Paris and took a train to the northern resort town of Berck-sur-Mer where she asked passers-by about a hotel near the beach.

"I find it ridiculous that a criminal would speak to so many people before carrying out her act," Kabou said impassively.

"When you premeditate a crime, you don't want to be traced."

She said she played with her daughter Adelaide, before breastfeeding her until she fell asleep after which she took her to the beach and laid her at the water's edge.

"She didn't move, she was silent," Kabou said.

"I understood the water was covering my daughter, my boots were in the water. It was so dark the moon was like a spotlight."

After leaving her daughter there, she ran away. Prawn fisherman found the toddler's lifeless body the next morning.


Kabou grew up in Senegal in a well-off Catholic family before moving to Paris to study philosophy and architecture where she fell in love with a sculptor 30 years her senior, Michel Lafon.

Described by her lawyer as highly intelligent, she told the court she had no other explanation for her acts but "witchcraft".

Kabou said she carried out the murder "perfectly mechanically, as if a part of me was anaesthetised" and returned home the next day "with the attitude of someone who has just gone shopping".

"I didn't want to kill this child, but it was at my hands that she died," said Kabou.

Prosecutor Luc Fremiot interrogated her over the fact that she never registered Adelaide's birth, and none of her family knew about the existence of the child.

Kabou has said Lafon never wanted the child and questioned whether he was even the father.

"If I never wanted Ada, I wouldn't have carried her for nine months, I wouldn't have raised her for 15 months, I wouldn't have loved her," Kabou said, sobbing.

On Monday, the accused said she had spent about $45 000 consulting various "witchdoctors and healers" before carrying out the murder, and that she had suffered hallucinations.

However, Jean-Christophe Boyer, a lawyer for a children's group that is a civil party to the case, has accused Kabou of using witchcraft and her culture as a defence strategy.

A court psychiatrist, Paul Bensussan, said her act was possibly triggered by a deep depression related to having the child.

Read more on:    france

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.