The Tokyo District Court has sentenced a 26-year-old woman to eight years in prison for parental neglect resulting in the death of her three-year-old daughter by leaving her at home alone for a week in 2020.
The court on Thursday handed down its ruling against Saki Kakehashi, Fuji TV reported. Kakehashi had pleaded guilty.
The court heard that she left tea and sweets for her daughter Noa at their apartment in Ota Ward while she went to Kagoshima for one week to spend time with her then boyfriend. She said she thought Noa would be alright.
Kakehashi made an emergency call upon her return from the trip on June 13, 2020, claiming Noa was not breathing, Kyodo News reported. Noa was taken to hospital where she died from dehydration and hunger. Her stomach was almost empty.
Doctors also found a rash on her bottom as her diaper had apparently been unchanged for a long time. Prosecutors claim Kakehashi tried to hide the fact that Noa had been left alone by applying ointment to a rash on her bottom and changing her into a fresh diaper just before she called 119, Kyodo reported.
Prosecutors said that before leaving for Kagoshima, Kakehashi barricaded Noa inside the living room with a sofa blocking off entrance to the kitchen. Kakehashi said she did this to prevent Noa from harming herself with knives or other kitchen items.
Noa had not attended her daycare center for more than a year prior to her death. Kakehashi lived alone with her daughter after divorcing Noa’s father in 2016.
Prosecutors also said that Kakehashi would often leave Noa at home alone while she went to bars and pachinko parlors and bars with friends.© Japan Today