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May 14, 2011

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Boy who kidnapped and drowned child is jailed

A 15-year-old boy who kidnapped a four-year-old girl from her bed and drowned her in a river was yesterday jailed for 14 years.

The boy, surnamed Guo, was also ordered by the Zhabei District People's Court to pay about 600,000 yuan (US$92,308) in compensation to the victim's family.

Judges said the boy should be severely punished, even though he isn't yet 16, because he had planned the murder and killed the little girl in such a callous manner.

The age of criminal responsibility in China is 14, but children aged under 16 are usually dealt with more leniently than offenders aged between 16 and 18.

Guo will begin his sentence in Shanghai Juvenile Reformatory.

He came to the city from Jiangsu Province last October as a migrant worker and lived in a rented room on Huahe Road in Baoshan District.

His neighbors were a family, surnamed Sun, from Anhui Province. The parents sold breakfasts, leaving their daughter at home asleep.

Guo learned that the family had some savings and decided to kidnap their four-year-old daughter for ransom.

As the girl knew him, Guo decided to kill her, regardless of whether he received a ransom from her parents.

About 4:30am on December 10, 2010, Sun and his wife left for work, leaving their daughter sleeping at home on her own.

Once the couple were gone, Guo forced open the door and stole Sun's ID card and a credit card.

He awoke the sleeping child, forced her to accompany him to the Changbin River and threw her in.

Guo then called Sun, threatening to kill his daughter if he didn't tell him the PIN code for the credit card.

Sun called police, who that afternoon found Guo hiding in a green belt in the district.

On the basis of information from Guo, the child's body was recovered that night.


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