Osaka man given 10 yrs for fatally burning toddler with hot water

Photo: Kyodo
TOKYO. KAZINFORM A Japanese court on Friday sentenced a 25-year-old man to 10 years in prison for burning his girlfriend's toddler son to death with hot shower water at their apartment in Osaka Prefecture in August 2021, Kyodo reports.

Prosecutors had charged Takumi Matsubara with murder and assault, seeking 18 years, but the Osaka District Court found his actions only amounted to bodily injury resulting in death, noting that he had not intended to kill 3-year-old Orito Niimura.

The court convicted Matsubara of assault, recognizing that he hit the boy with a cushion.

During the trial, the prosecutors said that the child suffered burns to more than 90 percent of his body, and accused Matsubara of leaving him in the shower as it ran with its temperature set as high as 75 C.

The prosecutors argued that Matsubara intended to kill the child, since he was aware at the time that he was leaving him at risk of death.

Matsubara rejected the accusation, saying that he was having difficulty potty training the boy and wanted to punish him by shutting him in the shower room with the water running.

The boy's mother was not at home at the time of the incident.

She had consulted the local government in May of that year and alleged her boyfriend had been abusive to the child, but the city's consultation center concluded that the situation at the time did not warrant implementing protective measures.

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