The New Taipei District Court yesterday sentenced Chuang Chia-yi (莊嘉億), 25, to death for beating a four-year-old girl to death last year, while Chuang’s mother was found to be complicit in the crime and received a life term.
The court found Chuang guilty of murder, while his mother, 53-year-old Liu Chen-mei (劉禎梅), was found guilty of being an accessory for repeatedly refusing to allow social workers to check on the girl.
It was the first ruling in the case, which can be appealed.
The toddler’s mother, surnamed Chiu (邱), has been serving a prison term on an illegal drug conviction and placed her daughter in the care of her live-in boyfriend, Chuang, and his mother, prosecutors said.
After finding the girl unconscious in October last year, Chuang and Liu took her to a hospital, where they abandoned her and she later died, they said.
The girl’s body was covered in wounds and bruises, prosecutors said, adding that she had several broken leg bones and that her left kneecap was protruding from a wound, indicating that she had been the victim of long-term physical abuse.
When questioned, Chuang said that he got angry at the girl for crying and not listening to him, and that he beat her with a metal rod.
The court said that he had committed a cruel crime that perverted the basic values of society.
“If the defendant received only a life term, it would not restore justice to the innocent victim, nor would it repair social order or protect the lives of other people,” the court said.
“As the defendant has shown no remorse for the crime, his rehabilitation has been deemed difficult and there is the likelihood of him committing such offenses again, so he must be kept away from society permanently,” the court said.
An autopsy revealed that the girl had several illnesses and was malnourished and dehydrated, indicating long-term neglect and abuse by Chuang and Liu, prosecutors said.
The court gave Liu a life term, as the investigation found that she refused three visits by social workers, who had concerns about the welfare of the girl, making her complicit in Chuang’s abuse.
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