Leniency asked for man who killed son

The lawyer representing a 52-year-old man accused of murdering his delinquent son asked the Tokyo District Court for leniency on Mar. 18, saying the father was ultimately unable to deal with his son’s violent behavior.

Takeki Kagawa is charged with killing his 14-year-old son in November. The victim was sleeping when he was struck on the head several times with a baseball bat and strangled at the family’s home in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo.

According to the statement read by prosecutors in a previous court hearing, Kagawa killed his son after being forced to put up with repeated violence aimed at him and his wife for two years. During the court session, Kagawa’s lawyer said the defendant had come to believe that his son was violent because he had failed to raise him well.

Nevertheless, Kagawa believed his son had personal trust in him, the lawyer said. At the same time, he added, the father’s fear of the boy and his violent outbursts was increasing. When Kagawa eventually killed the boy, he was under severe mental duress, making him unable to contain the strong impulse to kill, the lawyer said. The court should take into account the defendant’s mental state in determining his criminal liability, he added.

The lawyer also questioned whether a psychiatrist Kagawa turned to offered him adequate professional advice. The defendant was told to “bear the violence,” the lawyer said, pointing out that this prescription merely aggravated the problem.