A Japanese couple from Molenschot in Brabant has been sentenced to four years in prison for starving and abusing five of their seven children. The court in Breda believes that homicide attempt has been proven, because certainly one of the children was in a life-threatening situation.
The five children are between six and twelve years old. The school that they attended raised the alarm last year when the children got food from trash cans and even started stealing food from other children.
In addition to being very skinny, they also had bruises because they were kicked and beaten at home. Father Hidefumi M. said during the substantive treatment in the case that he sometimes locked them up for seven weeks in the shed or in their room.
The parents had forbidden their children to talk about the abuse and they were not allowed to say that they were hungry. If they did, a penalty followed. A punishment could mean that they were not given food for up to five days.
The court called the case Thursday 'downright shocking'.
Attempted manslaughter, imprisonment and mistreatment
The parents designated each other as the main responsible. After their detention, they want a divorce and return to Japan.
Justice charged the couple with imprisonment and mistreatment as well as the attempted homicide. Due to the abuse, the claim against father Hidefumi M. was slightly higher.
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