Tokyo man handed life term for murdering, mutilating female neighbor – The Mainichi Daily News

Takanori Hoshijima, 34, a former temporary worker from Tokyo’s Koto Ward, was given a life sentence at the Tokyo District Court on Wednesday for murder and destruction of a corpse.

According to the ruling, Hoshijima killed and mutilated the body of Rurika Tojo, 23, a company employee who was living two doors down from him, after he tried to sexually assault her on April 18 last year.

“It is a case in which the death penalty should be considered as an option, but capital punishment is too heavy (for the crime),” said the court in handing down the ruling.

Prosecutors had demanded the death penalty, asserting it was “a crime of unprecedented viciousness,” and Hoshijima himself had told the court he had no choice but to apologize to the victim by paying with his life. The defense counsel had sought life imprisonment, saying Hoshijima admitted to the charges and regrets his crime.

On Wednesday, Presiding Judge Kiichi Hiraide said, “The defendant was extremely selfish in that he was motivated to make the victim his sex slave. It was an extremely vicious act to dismember her body into small pieces and dump them, which trampled down the victim’s honor and personality, as well as her family’s feelings.”

However, Presiding Judge Hiraide said he opted against the death penalty because the crime, in which there was only one victim, was not heinous enough to meet the other conditions for capital punishment.

The judge said the way Hoshijima killed the victim cannot be said to have been persistent and that he did not actually commit an obscene act on her. The judge also said that the murder and destruction and abandonment of her body were not premeditated.

During an earlier hearing of the case, prosecutors showed the pictures of Tojo’s flesh and bone fragments that were found in sewage pipes on a large screen set up in the court, prompting her relative to burst into tears and leave the courtroom.

via Tokyo man handed life term for murdering, mutilating female neighbor – The Mainichi Daily News.

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