A family court in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, has ruled that a 17-year-old boy who was arrested on suspicion of inflicting bodily injuries resulting in the death of his six-year-old sister, will not be prosecuted.
The court ruled that due to extenuating circumstances, such as parental neglect on the part of the siblings’ mother – who was absent from home for seven days prior to the girl’s death – the boy was placed under enormous strain in looking after his sister, Sankei Shimbun reported. Instead, the court said the boy will be sent to a juvenile rehabilitation center.
The teenager was accused of kicking his sister several times in the stomach and back at their home between late July and Aug 1. The boy asked a neighbor to contact the police at around 9:40 a.m. on Aug 1. He claimed that his sister had fallen from a jungle gym at the park. The girl was found collapsed there and died in hospital due to traumatic shock later that day. Police launched an investigation into the girl’s death after being contacted by the hospital.
The boy and his sister lived with their single mother. Police said the mother was frequently absent from home and she has been questioned on suspicion of parental neglect.
The court said child welfare authorities were also made aware of the mother’s absence from the home but took no steps as they judged that the boy was able to look after his sister.© Japan Today