crime

Mother who left dead baby in train station locker gets suspended sentence

32 Comments

A 35-year-old woman who left the corpse of her newborn daughter in a coin locker in August has been given a suspended sentence by the Saitama District Court.

Kaori Horiguchi was found guilty of abandoning the stillborn body of her daughter in a coin locker at Kita-Sakado Station on the Tobu Tojo Line in Sakado, Saitama Prefecture, Fuji TV reported Wednesday. She was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for three years.

The court heard that a security guard reported to police at around 3 p.m. on Aug 29 that a foul smell was emanating from one of the coin lockers at the station. Police opened the locker and found the naked body of the infant inside a shoulder bag. An autopsy showed that a few days had passed since she died. No visible injuries were present on the body.

In handing down his sentence, Judge Toshikazu Ishii ruled that Horiguchi was “selfish and irresponsible” to abandon her deceased infant inside a coin locker. On the other hand, he pointed out, “It is obvious that [the mother] carried out her crime after being driven to an unstable psychological state.” Because she showed remorse during her trial, the judge deemed the suspended sentence as reasonable.

© Japan Today

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32 Comments
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So the judge said to her to dispose of the body properly next time, I dont care if you kill your child it is yours after all but please dispose of it properly and not in a public place otherwise it will end up on news again. Sorry I cant find the necessary grammatical symbols on my Japanese keyboard.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She probably went through hell, poor thing, and felt she could not confide in anyone regarding either her pregnancy or the stillbirth. "No alternative". That this act was her conclusion says a lot about support in the community here.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

MocheakeToday  09:42 am JSTJust because a few days had passed since the child died doesn't mean it was stillborn. It just means the baby had died a few days before the autopsy. It could have been alive when put in the locker or was killed before being put inside.

That's what autopsies are for you know, to determine the date and cause of death.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Life in Japan is not the gold that we treasure from Christian point of view. 

The baby was still born do was never really 'alive'.

I think that Japanese take death pretty seriously - supernatural beings don't come into it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hey Brian, Health care is very expensive in Japan. Also Google Japanese funerals, even attending one is an expensive exercise.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is a textbook case of a miscarriage of justice.

Pardon the pun?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I can only think that she had a home birth, IF, the baby was still born, is there some way that the hospital, local ward, or council, or funeral place could help her? is Japan that callous it won't offer any free support? is this why she abandoned the infant in the locker? is it through despair?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Haters are in full force in here. I hope she also gets some psychological help as well.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Its very simple sensei258. Sometimes something brings on a fast labour that prevents woman from getting to hospital in time. Sometimes the infant can die in the womb from lack or blood supply or some kind of fetal distress. The coroner can tell if the baby ever took a breath , meaning if it was born alive or dead. It's pretty simple medical autopsy to tell.

I don't understand why all you people are being so cruel. She will be punished for not reporting and trying to conseal what happened. However her fragile mental state has to be considered as a very vital piece of evidence. I don't know what I would do if I was all alone and this happened. She most likely had some type to temporarily psychosis.

People are so quick to judge others.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Seems very suspicious to me that's so often in these types of circumstances the baby was "stillborn", it's so convenient. How do we know the mother didn't have a hand in making sure the baby was "stillborn". After all, authorities admit that she was mentally unstable.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Life in Japan is not the gold that we treasure from Christian point of view.

Could you explain the Christian point of view to those of us who don't subscribe, please?

If you're suggesting that people don't value life here because of their religion or lack of it, then that would be a curious stance to take.

Parents cannot always cope with the arrival of a new life. Especially if, perhaps, it was not planned or wished for. Sadly, logical and considered decisions can be blocked by emotional turmoil, panic and self-loathing.

And it is certainly not just confined to Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Seriously people there would have been a thorough investigation. It was only a couple of days, not months. The coroner would easily tell it was still born by seeing if it ever took a breath.

I have heard funerals are an extortionist racquet in Japan. It sounds like she had no support , no one to turn to. Perhaps she is better off getting psychological care for the trauma she has been though.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Forensic science. It's pretty interesting stuff, provides evidence so you don't just have to take someone's word for it. It's worth a read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forensic_science

@Strangerland

EXACTLY!!!!!! This is my field of work. But when I base my comments on forensic science, I get frowned upon. Most crimes like this one would have a different turnout if there were some detailed work done.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

That pure BS. How the hell do you know the baby was stillborn months after it was dead? Did you just take her word for it?

Forensic science. It's pretty interesting stuff, provides evidence so you don't just have to take someone's word for it. It's worth a read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forensic_science

8 ( +9 / -1 )

My daughter is just getting ready to turn four months old so reading this is like a wakizashi in my heart

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Life in Japan is not the gold that we treasure from Christian point of view. Nothing particular to me, all my Japanese family see nothing to criticize.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

“It is obvious that [the mother] carried out her crime after being driven to an unstable psychological state.”

This cannot be a real thing which would exclude her from facing her crime! There are many people who were not in a psychological state of mind when they were committing a murder, later found to regret what they have done in hind sight, but they still are in prison. She knew what she was doing because she would go to reload the locker every day or other day in an attempt to hide what she had done. She didn't give birth in a hospital, so she hid the pregnancy/birth. A calculated plan. These are things the judges here don't look at to make a solid case

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Chip Star: "This is a textbook case of a miscarriage of justice. Was the defendant showing remorse because she dumped the corpse or because she was caught?"

Indeed, and it was a bell-jar sentence. Another judge would have given her a few years, another would have given her flowers then turned around and sentenced a man to death for stealing 10 yen from a temple. There's no rhyme or Reason with judges here.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

The usual angry mob out in force, I see.

“It is obvious that [the mother] carried out her crime after being driven to an unstable psychological state.”

And as usual, none of us know the details or what she went through, what her state of mind was/is.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

This is a textbook case of a miscarriage of justice. Was the defendant showing remorse because she dumped the corpse or because she was caught?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Coin locker babies are far too common in Japan, and prove the further need for baby hatches. I have no doubt this woman dumped a live baby and left it for dead. Shame on the judge for the suspended sentence, even if stillborn. Amazing waht you can get away with here.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Just because a few days had passed since the child died doesn't mean it was stillborn. It just means the baby had died a few days before the autopsy. It could have been alive when put in the locker or was killed before being put inside.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

She didn’t have the decency to give her child a proper burial. She deserves to rot in jail.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Terrible. It doesn't seem she had the poor child delivered at a medical facility. Why not? Something seems wrong here.

'Unstable psychological state' doesn't seem a good excuse for this.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

sensei258Today  06:58 am JST

“That pure BS. How the hell do you know the baby was stillborn months after it was dead?”

Sometimes it helps to read the article.

“An autopsy showed that a few days had passed since she died”

6 ( +9 / -3 )

there is nothing to prove the baby was stillborn

There is nothing in the article to prove the baby was stillborn. Or do you have further information about the court case?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Please, please she only had 9 months to think about what to do with the baby.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Ok, she received a suspended sentence for dumping her ‘possibly’ stillborn baby in a coin locker, but there is nothing to prove the baby was stillborn.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

She was sentenced to 2 years, suspended for three. "You are free to go, just please don't kill any more babies in the next 3 years." What an injustice to that poor child.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Shame on you sensei258!!!

How could you expect her to take the baby to Kagoshima and leave it in the infamous baby door or baby hatch. Think of all the time and money she would waste !

She made her own baby hatch at a fraction of the cost!

For a country that constantly complains about labor shortages and declines no population you would think a baby would be treasured. Jeekies, Japan is almost as deadly as Hollywood for a baby !

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

"unstable psychological state" Will that be the standard from now on in Japan? No longer do you have to be proven insane, but if you're having psychological problems you can do anything and get away with it?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

That pure BS. How the hell do you know the baby was stillborn days after it was dead? Did you just take her word for it? Welcome to Japan, kill your baby, show remorse, walk away free.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

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