crime

Man gets 17 years for stabbing neighbor over feeding of stray cats

31 Comments

A 70-year-old man was sentenced to 17 years in prison by a panel of professional and lay judges in the Chiba District Court on Monday after being found guilty of stabbing his neighbor to death in August last year.

Kiichi Hayashi, a resident of Funabashi City, was found guilty of stabbing his 64-year-old female neighbor twice on Aug 27 following an argument on the street over his feeding of stray cats. The woman had repeatedly told Hayashi not to feed the cats and Hayashi became angry, attacking the woman. He claimed she had bad-mouthed him around the neighborhood.

It was the first murder case to be tried under the lay judge system in Chiba Prefecture. Defense argued that the man was lonely and that the cats were his only companions, while the prosecution said the man made no effort to associate with his neighbors.

A 67-year-old man who served as a lay judge in the case said afterwards that he thought many people felt the need for stricter sentences, and was satisfied with the result.

© News reports

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31 Comments
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he will be 87 when he goes out of jail...then he will feed those cats again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But will he stab people again? Who cares about the cats.

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Sounds about the right sentence when you consider his age.

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Poor guy, those cats were all he had. Give him a suspended sentence.

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@ FreeganSlayer

I hope that was sarcasm, there is no excuse for murder, lonely or not.....

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That guy is an idiot. He should have bought three big dogs. Or went to the dog pound and got them for free. I would just release the dogs in the neighborhood problem solved.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This guy got sentenced not only for his crime, but for his demeanor. No effort to associate with neighbors? Yeah? Him and a very a large percentage of the urban population, and what of it? The crime is murder, not being 'unsocial'... Others who also commit murder, get much lighter sentences... I find this unbalance worrying...

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brought up like robots with no soul and no more values other than work and material stuff, and seeing that kids do not even hug or kiss their parents

The guy was being kind to some cats and some old bag gets in his face about it - that's what's wrong with this country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

17 years will ensure that these present cats that he is feeding won't be around when he gets out. Good length of time behind bars. Good call Judge.

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Defense argued that the man was lonely and that the cats were his only companions, while the prosecution said the man made no effort to associate with his neighbors.

WTF?! Stupid me was thinking the case should be about whether or not he stabbed and killed her. I think it's somewhere in the legal code that it doesn't matter if you're lonely or didn't chat with your neighbors. You still can't knife people repeatedly.

I'm not sure I could still through the trial as a lay judge and keep my mouth shut if these matters were being debated.

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For the price of a cheap knife, you can buy a good supply of cat poison-- I mean rat poison. ;-) Murder a woman, kill some stray cats..... hmm, dou shiyou ka na.

I'm sure this idea will come to in the next 17 years.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It is not likely that the old man will survive prison conditions for the next 17 years, so basically, they have given him a life sentence...

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This in itself is almost a life sentence. I mean, come on, he's already 70 years old -- He's getting out when he's 87.

He's spending time in a Japanese prison.

I don't think he's going to be here in the next 17 years. The judge knew what he was doing.

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This in itself is almost a life sentence. I mean, come on, he's already 70 years old

He lived enough years to learn you can't stab and kill people over petty neighborhood disagreements. I'm sure the victim's family was hoping she'd live a while longer instead of taking her grandkids to her funeral.

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The defense and prosecution arguments are hilarious. I bet the old lady he killed was bad-mouthing him around town and annoying the hell out of him simply because she had nothing better to do, just as much as his feral cats were his only companions. This old fella shouldn't have knifed her, of course, but I bet she was an annoyingly persistant old busy-body that wouln't leave him alone.

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Why didn't they just say life, because that is what it will be. So the lay judges want to get strict? Wonder why?

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17 years is too long! You don't mess with a man's cats!

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Good thing that he had such a good defense lawyer who could come up with such a clever defense strategy! I'm sure that if he had been friendly towards his neighbours that he could have gotten a lesser sentence.

I agree with pamelot. The unbalance and inconsistency of 'justice' here was already worrying before. Now with the lay judge system in place I fear it could get even wackier! Stricter sentences...why? Another concerning factor is that the public seems to perceive that there is a lot more crime when actually violent crimes have decreased.

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Trial and verdict reached in five minutes!!! Guilty guilty guilty maximum sentence! Unless he bows and says gommenasai and then its all ok.

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Who's gonna take care of the cats now?

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I know what you're thinking: the feral cats, which harmed nobody, would just continue destroying the population of those adorable Norway rats and cute mice we love to see playfully scurrying about our neighborhoods. I ask you, which would you rather see more of? Sorry-- bad example, but its logic is in line with the defense and prosecutor's focus in this case.

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Feeding stray cats is not being nice to cats. It's being irresponsible. I know too many people who do this kind of thing. Either take in the cat as a pet or don't feed it. They just multiply. You know how many stray cats there are in Shinjuku? I can understand why this woman was upset.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Reading the comments above I think some of you have misunderstood the case. The 70 year-old man that was sentenced was the one who was feeding the stray cats and also the one who stabbed to death his neighbor, a 64 year-old woman, who wanted him to stop feeding the cats.

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Either take in the cat as a pet or don't feed it.

there is one other solution and that is to trap the cats and spay/neuter them. Then you can feed them without adding to the problem. It's called TNR trap/neuter/return. There are several credible groups in Tokyo doing this. It is the most humane and permanent solution.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

kobekid

there is one other solution and that is to trap the cats and spay/neuter them. Then you can feed them without adding to the problem.

Try selling that to the neighbors. Trap-spay/nueter-release is definitely more humane and works to control ferile populations over time but in the meantime they still crap and spray everywhere and that's probably what the neighbors were unhappy with. Also regardless of such a program, if the guy kept putting food out you know that strays from other areas will easily fill the void left by any local/neighborhood cats that eventually die off.

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I'm sure there is a Chinese restaurant in the neighbourhood who will happily take over the responsibilities of fattening up these wayward pussies. Somehow methinks it would be more of a trap-return (in a completely new form) to the neighbourhood.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Starving, diseased, cold cats beg to be fed - OK. Taken home? I wouldn't dare - imagine the costs! Trap? They'll sceam & struggle even unto hurting themselves against the cage. Neuter? Docs also stressed to handle such ferocity. Solution? Fine heavily abandonment and donate to shelters?

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Enjoy your final days in the slammer - old LOSER! Hope you enjoy it - no cats in there! We will all be out here, petting cats and living it up! Meeeooow!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

USNinJapan2 and suebe36d,

TNR works. Of course, responsible care takers are an important part of the equation. My neighbors and I trapped and neutered 15 cats 7 years ago. One neighbor set up the feeding station and toilet in their garden. Hasn't been a litter since then. With the food source tightly controlled no "strays from other areas" have moved in. Online documentation is abundant about the effectiveness of this method.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

not really a life sentence with how long japanese oyajis live these days. he probably has a good 10 years of post-jail life ahead of him.

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TNR is the only solution for strays and it works! The penalties for morons dumping animals should be very high and more apartments should allow small pets (perhaps with a higher deposit). Of course there is no excuse for stabbing the annoying old woman no matter how irritating she was. I wish there were more support groups where he could have turned for help with the cats...Many kus now have a subsidy for TNR of strays ...it should be something every community participates in ...There are many kind people doing TNR and regular stray feeding in my area ..of course there is always one ignorant idiot who doesnt like it but thankfully the kind people out number the idiots... I do feel sorry for the old man ...his frustration and inability to express himself in any other way but murder is frightening and somehow pitiful. We live in a world surrounded by so many and yet he seemed so alone.

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