Arsonist nanny executed in east China

HANGZHOU (XINHUA) - Mo Huanjing, a former nanny who had been sentenced to death for starting a fire that killed four members of a family in 2017, was executed on Friday (Sept 21) in east China's Zhejiang Province, a local court said.

Mo's death sentence has been reviewed and approved by the Supreme People's Court (SPC), the country's top court, according to the Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court.

Before the execution, the Hangzhou court notified Mo's close relatives of the right to a meeting, which they forfeited.

"Mo's motive was abhorrent, highly vicious and dangerous to others. The consequences of the crime were severe and detrimental to public safety," said the SPC.

Despite Mo's confession to the arson after her arrest, the nature and severity of the crime, as well as its social consequences, did not support granting leniency for her, said the SPC.

"The evidence was factual and sufficient, and the sentencing was appropriate," the SPC ruled.

Mo was a gambling addict and had long been in debt. She started working for the family of Ms Zhu Xiaozhen and Mr Lin Shengbin in September 2016.

From March 2017 to June 2017, she stole jewellery and watches from the family and borrowed money from Ms Zhu, but gambled the money away.

On June 21, 2017, Mo decided to further gain Ms Zhu's trust by lighting a fire and putting it out. The fire, however, spread fast and Ms Zhu and her three children died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Mo was also convicted of theft.