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