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A Taiwan man received the death penalty for torturing his girlfriend's 2-year-old son, who died of his injuries, local media reported Thursday.
Liu Chin-lung, 40, allegedly dealt drugs from his home, where he lived with his girlfriend and her son.
Reportedly fearing that the child's crying would make his neighbours suspicious, he told his girlfriend in October that he was taking the boy to a babysitter for a few weeks, according to the Apple Daily news company.
Instead, Liu took the boy to a separate apartment, where he and three accomplices tortured the boy for three weeks, allegedly to punish him for crying.
Surveillance footage from November showed a friend of Liu taking the body of the unconscious boy to a hospital before fleeing.
Medical staff found the boy in a coma, with missing fingernails and high levels of amphetamines and heroin in his blood.
An accomplice, Chou Chien-hui, received a life sentence, while two others were handed 14 and 13 years in prison, respectively, in Wednesday's sentencing.
This was the first death penalty handed down for a child abuse case in Taiwan. Liu was convicted of child abuse resulting in death. The defendants can still appeal their sentences.
The judge said the circumstances warranted a harsh penalty.
“The defendants showed neither empathy nor mercy and judging from the photo of the boy's dead body, he endured pain that would have even been unbearable to adults,” Sun Cheng-hua, the lead trial judge, was quoted by the Central New Agency as saying.- Sapa-dpa