Killer begs mother of slain Taiwan girl for forgiveness

Ms Claire Wang with her husband and daughter, who was slashed multiple times and decapitated in March.
Ms Claire Wang with her husband and daughter, who was slashed multiple times and decapitated in March.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/CLAIRE WANG

TAIPEI • A murder suspect accused of decapitating a four- year-old girl on a Taipei street fell to his knees and asked the victim's mother for forgiveness during his trial.

Wang Ching-yu, 33, has been charged with the murder of Liu Yi Jie, in a trial that began in June.

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

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

On Thursday, Wang asked the judge if he could apologise to Ms Wang. He then knelt and said in Mandarin: "I'm sorry. I admit I was wrong. I did not mean it, please forgive me," reported news website UDN.com.

Ms Wang was 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," Ms Wang told reporters on exiting the courtroom, 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," she said, according to UDN.com.

The seemingly unprovoked crime shocked Taiwan. Wang slashed the girl as many as 23 times although he did not know the family. His state of mind at the time of the attack has been disputed during the trial.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2016, with the headline 'Killer begs mother of slain Taiwan girl for forgiveness'. Print Edition | Subscribe