Suspended term for Chinese couple whose daughter died in Lisbon fall

LISBON (AFP) - A Portuguese court on Monday (Dec 11) handed a suspended jail sentence to a Chinese couple whose five-year-old daughter fell to her death while they were visiting a local casino.

A lawyer for the couple, whose identity was not disclosed, said they received a suspended five-year sentence for "endangering and abandoning" the girl, who died after falling from their 21st-floor apartment in February 2016.

The lawyer, Correia de Almeida, said they were considering an appeal after being sentenced "for something they did not commit, as they had no intention of committing a crime."

The parents had left their daughter home alone to go to the casino at Lisbon's Expo Park.

When they returned to their flat at about 3 am they discovered the body of their daughter, who had fallen 90 metres.

"They have already been condemned for the rest of their life psychologically, particularly the father, who has suicidal tendencies. They will have to live with a feeling of guilt," de Almeida said.

The couple, currently in Shanghai, now risk losing their "golden visa", which Portugal grants to non-EU residents who either buy real estate worth 500,000 euros (S$796,000) or invest upwards of a million euros in the country.