Chinese toddler-death accused makes defence

Chinese toddler-death accused makes defence
Han Lei being interrogated while in police custody.

CHINA - A man accused of killing a 2-year-old girl in Beijing after arguing with her mother has told a court he was heavily intoxicated at the time and did not mean to harm the child.

Han Lei, who faces the death penalty for intentional homicide, denied on Monday he knew the victim was in a stroller he smashed to the ground on July 23.

The victim, identified only as Sun, suffered severe head injures and died in a hospital two days later.

"I never wanted to hurt anyone, let alone a child," the 39-year-old said during a three-hour hearing at Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court.

Prosecutors say that on July 23 Han and his friend, Li Ming, who drove a white Hyundai car, came to a bus station near Keji Road in Daxing district just before 9 pm.

Shortly afterwards, video surveillance from the scene shows Han arguing with a woman with a baby stroller, which he then picked up and threw to the ground.

A nearby streetlight and the car's headlights were both on, which prosecutors allege shows the defendant clearly could have seen there was a child in the stroller.

But in mitigation Han insisted he thought the woman only had a handcart.

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