Inmate dies in prison
An inmate at a prison in southern China died last week after apparently being beaten, Chinese media reported yesterday, in the latest in a string of jail deaths that have fueled public anger. Relatives of Liu Yushan (劉玉山), 35, said prison officials told them he died “suddenly” of possible heart problems last week in Foshan city in Guangdong Province, the Beijing News reported. However, family members said after viewing his body that both of his legs were badly bruised and one appeared to be broken, it reported. Prison officials produced a medical certificate dated 2005 claiming that he had heart disease, which family members denied, the paper said. The Ministry of Public Security has announced a probe, apparently in response to mounting public anger over recent prison deaths, which included three teenagers.
Schoolgirl rape gang on trial
Seven people in the southwest, including four government officials, are being tried on charges of raping schoolgirls, allegedly aided by a former prostitute, state media said on Wednesday. The suspects are all accused of raping girls of primary and secondary school age in Guizhou Province from October 2007 to last July, helped by a jobless woman and her two teenage friends, the official Xinhua news agency said. Yuan said the men were allowed to rape the girls for roughly 100 yuan (US$15) each. The two teenage accomplices, who were drug addicts and needed money, helped by abducting schoolgirls from one primary school and three junior high schools in the county, Xinhua reported. In October, police arrested the seven suspects, who include officials in charge of land and resources, social security and legal affairs. One other man was a teacher. Xinhua said rapists in China could be jailed for three to 10 years, but child rapists could be sentenced to life in prison and even death if they knew the victim was under 14.
Man jailed for lawn death
A man was sentenced yesterday to at least 18 months in jail for fatally beating another man during an argument over Sydney’s water restrictions. Todd Munter, 39, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in December and had faced up to 25 years in jail, but the sentencing judge said the circumstances surrounding the killing called for a lighter penalty and sentenced Munter to three years and three months in prison. He is eligible for parole in 18 months. Ken Proctor, 66, was watering his front lawn in October 2007 when Munter walked by and accused him of breaking the city’s water restrictions. When Munter called him a “stupid old goat,” Proctor turned his hose on the younger man, prosecutors said. Munter then punched, pushed and kicked Proctor until he hit the ground, prosecutors said. Minutes later, Proctor suffered a heart attack and died despite Munter’s attempts to resuscitate him. Munter’s lawyer said his client had been under stress, learning he would have to undergo surgery.
Teen’s seductress jailed
A divorcee has been jailed for 10 months for having sex with a 13-year-old boy after seducing him via mobile phone messages, the Straits Times reported yesterday. The 32-year-old mother knew the boy from his school, where she was working as a canteen helper, the newspaper said. The two swapped mobile phone text messages and started to have sex at her home in May last year. The affair was exposed after the woman’s sister found the boy hiding in a wardrobe.