Man who beheaded 4-year-old girl in Taiwan begs her mother for forgiveness

A murder suspect accused of decapitating a four-year-old girl got on his knees and asked for forgiveness from the victim's mother in a Taipei court on Thursday (Sept 22).

Suspect Wang Ching-yu, 33, has been charged with the murder of Liu Yi-jie, in a trial that began in June. The trial is held at the Shihlin district court.

Wang is accused of killing the girl, nicknamed "Little Light Bulb", in front of her mother, Claire Wang, on March 28.

The prosecution is seeking a death sentence for Wang, but his lawyers have asked for a lighter sentence.

On Thursday, he asked the judge if he could apologise to Ms Wang.

He then knelt down and said in Mandarin: "I'm sorry, I admit I was wrong. I did not mean it, please forgive me."

Ms Wang remained expressionless and ignored him. After 15 minutes, the judge asked Wang to get up, Taiwanese reports said.

"It's too early to talk about forgiveness," she told reporters on exiting the court room, adding that priority should be given to ensuring such crimes do not occur again.

"We should focus on investigating the cause of the crime, how the motive turned to action, and with this information, figure out what we can do, how we can reduce these incidents in the future."

The seemingly unprovoked and gruesome crime shocked Taiwanese society.

Wang slashed the girl as many as 23 times although he did not know the family. His psychiatric state at the time of the attack has been disputed during the trial.

When he took the stand, he has given rambling and outlandish answers, and quoted from Chinese folk lore and even wuxia novels during questioning, reports said.

Prosecutors have asserted that he passed a psychiatric assessment from Taipei Veterans General Hospital. They earlier accused Wang of not showing remorse.

This article was first published on September 23, 2016.
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