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Tragic tale of toddler bashed to death

THE four-year-old boy who was beaten to death by his father on Saturday in Baoshan District was bashed almost every day since he reunited with his parents in March, a local newspaper reported today.

"Mom, I'm so tired," were Zhang Jian's his last words to his mother about 4pm the day he died, after being beaten with a broom for at least three hours by his drunk father, a steel mill worker, according to the Oriental Morning Post report.

Zhang Shaobin, his 38-year-old father from southwestern Guizhou Province, bought two bottles of beer and two kilograms of yellow wine that morning. He beat his son in the morning for defecating in his trousers and again in the afternoon for not eating lunch.

The boy vomited food and water, said his last words and became incontinent about 9pm. Doctors pronounced the boy dead at No. 1 People's Hospital after the couple took him there by taxi.

The father told doctors that his son had been in a car accident but a doctor called police who detained Zhang, who later said his son was mentally disabled.

Neighbors, all from the poverty-stricken countryside of Guizhou and Anhui Province, cried after hearing of the boy's death on Sunday, saying he was polite and handsome.

Every time the father drank wine, he would beat his son mercilessly, neighbors said. They said he had kicked his son into the air, grabbed him while asleep and threw him to the ground, beaten him with iron bars, cut his hands with a knife or threw him against the wall.

The nightmare began nine months ago when the boy moved from the care of his uncle. His parents paid 15,000 yuan (US$2,193) to take him back in March.

Zhang Jian lived with his parents and 10-year-old brother in a rented room of less than 10 square meters, where the only electrical appliance was a single light bulb.


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