Mother convicted of starving 5-year-old son to death

Posted on February 12, 2011. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , |

NARA — The Nara District Court has sentenced a mother on trial for starving her 5-year-old son to death to 9 1/2 years in prison.

Mami Yoshida, 27, was convicted of negligence as a guardian resulting in death at the conclusion of her lay judge trial on Feb. 10. Yoshida’s malnourished son Tomoki weighed just 6.2 kilograms at the time of his death in March last year. The average weight of a 5-year-old boy is 15 to 20 kilograms.

“You made your son the outlet for your stress,” Presiding Judge Hajime Hashimoto told Yoshida during sentencing. “You did not treat him like a human being, but instead with ruthless cruelty.”

Yoshida’s defense counsel attempted to question her legal responsibility, arguing that she was “of unsound mind.” However, Judge Hashimoto concluded that Yoshida was capable of taking responsibility for her actions, pointing out that she had held a part-time job and even reported her son’s fate to a local child consultation center.

According to the ruling and other sources, Yoshida began neglecting Tomoki around September 2009, when he was already physically weak, in conspiracy with her 36-year-old husband Hiroshi. Yoshida’s husband is also under indictment on the same charge.

story in Japanese

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