Julen's parents José Roselló and Victoria García with, inset, Camilo de Ory.

Julen well death: man sentenced to 18 months in jail for writing degrading tweets

A court has ruled - four years after the tragic death of the little boy in Malaga province - that De Ory 'unjustly increased the pain of the parents' during the delicate 13-day rescue operation

JUAN CANO MALAGA.

Last Friday, the 13th January, marked four years since the death of two-year-old Julen in Totalán. His parents, José Roselló and Victoria García, had gone to enjoy a day in the countryside with a cousin of José, his partner, David Serrano, and their daughter. While they were preparing paella, the toddler fell down a hole 25 centimetres in diameter and a hundred metres deep. The autopsy later determined that he died on the spot.

During the 13 days that the delicate rescue operation lasted, a series of despicable tweets were published on Twitter from the account of Camilo de Ory that reached the attention of the boy's parents, who contacted the National Police’s Technological Crimes Group.

Investigations determined that the messages had been sent from Madrid, where De Ory lives, so the investigation came under the remit of a court in the capital. De Ory appealed against the proceedings and the High Court ruled in his favour.

Julen's parents, represented by lawyer Antonia Barba, challenged the decision in the Supreme Court and the proceedings returned to court for the oral hearing.

Camilo de Ory filed a motion for a mistrial, appealed to the Constitutional Court and requested the suspension of the trial while the proceedings were being reviewed. However, the hearing was set for 22 December 2022 and was finally held in Madrid Criminal Court number 3.

The tweeter again argued that his messages were satirical and claimed that he only intended to criticise the "sensationalism" in the news coverage of the case. De Ory described the media coverage as "shameful".

His tweets, among more than a dozen, included: "If it is annoying to put up with the works of the neighbour, imagine how overwhelmed Julen must be with the drilling"; and "How could you stoop so low, Julen?".

De Ory said that although he understood that the content of his messages was "inappropriate and exaggerated", he did not intend to "offend any sensibilities". The ruling states that "he withdrew the tweets" after learning of the parents’ complaint.

The father, who testified as an injured party in February 2019 when he filed the complaint, said that both he and his wife learned of De Ory's tweets through family and friends, feeling "helplessness" at the time. The mother said that these messages caused her "psychological discomfort".

José Roselló said that he tried to contact the tweeter, but that he never apologised for what had happened, and that he even learned that De Ory had acknowledged in a television interview that he had increased the number of followers on Twitter.

The judge sentenced De Ory to 18 months in prison for a crime against moral integrity and ordered him to pay Julen's parents 6,000 euros in compensation. The sentence, however, can still be appealed before the Provincial Court of Madrid and, ultimately, before the Supreme Court.