Chinese court shows 83-year-old woman mercy for killing disabled son

Worried that no one would care for her disabled son after her death, an elderly woman in China decided to end his life with her very own hands.

On May 9, 83-year-old Huang fed him approximately 60 sleeping pills before strangling him with a scarf while her family was away from home.

After the 46-year-old man suffocated to death, she turned herself in to the police.

When a court in Guangzhou heard her case on Sept 14, the elderly woman revealed the reason behind the killing.

"I'd rather commit a crime than watch him continue to suffer," Huang said.

Born prematurely, her son suffered from mental and physical disabilities. He was unable to care for himself and his condition had taken a turn for the worse in recent years.

Although she never gave up on him, Huang said she found it increasingly difficult to care for her bedridden son as she grew weaker with age.

Huang added that she did not want to burden her elder son with the responsibility of caring for his brother as "she was the one who gave birth to him and made him suffer."

The woman also did not want to send her disabled son to a state welfare home because she feared that he would not receive proper care there.

That was when she started to contemplate a mercy killing.

In court, Huang's elder son said that his mother had killed his brother to end his suffering, not to harm him. Huang's sister-in-law also told the court in a written plea that she had treated her son well despite the difficulty of caring for him through the years.

The court eventually found Huang guilty of intentional homicide on Oct 26 and gave herĀ a three-year suspended prison sentence.

The judge told Chinese media: "This is a unique case - the woman killed her son out of love. But the right to life is a person's most important right and not even a parent can take that away."