crime

Parents jailed over death of 4-year-old son due to malnutrition

24 Comments

A man from Warabi, Saitama Prefecture, was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday, and his wife to four and a half years, following the death of their son due to malnutrition in 2008.

The couple -- Masami Shindo, 47, and his wife Sanae, 37 -- were accused of neglecting their son Rikito's nutritional and medical needs from around December 2007, when he was four years old, until 2008 when he died of acute encephalopathy. According to police, the boy weighed just 10 kilograms at the time of his death.

In handing down the sentence, the court made specific mention of the emaciated state of the boy and the callous nature of the neglect.

According to police, the Shindos denied neglecting their son and claimed that he was regularly fed. Rikito and his brother, 10, were living with their parents at the time. The older son has been taken into care at a child nursing facility.

© Compiled from news reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
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In a country with such abundance, hard to believe stories like this still exist! Any signs of physical abuse? I say the REAL story lies with the 10 year old brother in hope that the medical social services perform a follow up interrogation. I bet the outcome will raise some eyebrows! And, of course, as long as the 10 year old doesn't favor the parents in his confession.

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How about we not focus on someone's choice of words and focus on the ACTUAL reality. Whether that kid was a "terror" or not, what the parents did was monstrous. It's like saying the kid asked for it. They killed a child, who could not defend himself or ask for help. That is sick and wrong, and so is this sentence. There's no excuse about tipping them over the boiling point or what have you. I don't doubt they asked the questions. They were the ADULTS here, and they abused their responsibility as parents.

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So if you want to kill your kid and get off easy, just do the same thing. What monsters are these parents that they can slowly starve their son to death? Five years is a joke. Try life imprisonment for calculated torture and murder of an innocent child.

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Ten is old enough to know what was going on. I wonder if they questioned the other child.

Encephalopathy can be caused by malnutrition but also by metabolic disorders. Malnutrition and low weight can be caused by a lot of medical conditions. One would wonder why the parents didn't take him to the doctor if this was the case, but I've heard of dumber reasons for people dying. I saw on one program a child (around this age--3 or 4) who was extremely malnourished because he was so picky about his food. I'm not saying the parents are telling the truth, but more exploring, "What if ..."

And yeah, can we please stop referring to dead kids as "angels?" Anyone who's ever spent time with a 4-year-old boy would not use the word "angel" to describe the child. We don't know the character of the kids, who could be little hell-raisers for all we know, who tipped their mentally unstable parents past the breaking point. It's unfortunate when anyone is killed by someone they trust with their life, but come on. Painting the kids as "angels" and the parents as "monsters" ignores reality.

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It sounds like murder - they raised him until December 2007, and then just suddenly decided to let him starve? And we aren`t even talking about knocked-up teenagers here, but grown up, "responsible" adults.

My son is 4 now. It makes me sick to think about how that little one must have suffered. My other son is only 1 and weighs more than 10 kilos.

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5 years for what amounts to the slow torture of a helpless child?! This is an absurdly light sentence. I bet this was not a jury trial, I can't imagine regular folks countenancing such a weak slap on the wrist. This is the type of case where I'd gladly volunteer to serve on the jury.

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Shoku

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Some future children- bearing parents would have to be screened before being allowed to give birth to children. Meantime, the gov't could consider assuming proactively the role of raising the kids 'confiscated' from unfit parents before such tragedy takes place..& amid a seriously shrinking population..

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These horrible parents, I would love for them to spend just at least 1 day in a CUBAN jail, where Fidel Castro really knows how to "feed" his inmates, just from the horror stories my Cuban amigos have told me, rotten food, with maggots etc..this is what these 2 horrible individuals from crappy Saitama really deserve, not good clean food that they will not get in the nice Japanese jail.

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I hate stories like this. What is a life worth?

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How about the death penalty, even though I don't believe in it?

I believe you've just answered your own question.

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Yep, totally disgusting. Is it just because it was their son? The penalty should be more than usual, as that poor guy had to watch as his own parents slowly murdered him. How excruciatingly heartbreaking and torturous that must have been! How about the death penalty, even though I don't believe in it?

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Bottom line - defraud some salarymen in Japan - get the book thrown at you. 18 years in the slammer. Kill a defenceless child - get 4.5 years and then freedom. When will children's lives start being valued here?

Who is looking after the kids in Japan?

Rest in Peace Rikito-Kun.

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Just 4-5 years! That is so disgusting!! Give them nothing to eat!! RIP Rikito..

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this little angel got lucky that his murderers are going to jail

Yeah. Really lucky. Except that he's dead. And four-year old boys are absolutely not angels. Ask anyone who's raised one.

A bit less vengeance-flavoured sentimentality might be a good thing.

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Agree with all... it's extremely disturbing they are not getting 20 years instead of the measly sentence they got for murdering their child. In most other nations they would get at LEAST 10 years, I would think.

Also agree they should be given the exact same diet the child received... if what the Shindos say is true, they have nothing to worry about. Or simply say that to them -- "You're going to receive the same diet as your son while you're in prison" and watch their reaction.

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I just can't believe the justice system at times. This sentence is extremely disturbing.

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give them the same diet as their 4-year-old

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I know Apsara...this little angel got lucky that his murderers are going to jail, even if its only 4-5 mere years!! I wish they could ROT longer.

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The sentence is not suspended in this case, I believe, it's custodial. In which case recently has a parent been given a suspended sentence for killing a child?

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This is japan...suspended sentence is what you usually get for murdering your own child. Disgusting criminal justice system. yuck!

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they should be fed Charlie Bucket Cabbage Water for their time in prison.....

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Wow.. 5 years for murder. That's a pretty light sentence. The wife, who was presumably the one at home 'feeding' him, should have gotten the same or longer as the husband.

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Well at least they got some jail time...but only 4 years for basically killing a 4-yer-old boy does not seem near long enough! thank goodness the older son will have a chance. RIP to the little one.

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