A Romanian teenager has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering a woman last year on a street in Musashino, western Tokyo.
“It was a cruel crime, stabbing the victim from behind while she was walking alone on a street,” presiding Judge Chiiwa Kurasawa said in handing down the ruling Tuesday at the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court.
Kurasawa said long-term corrective measures are unavoidable. Prosecutors had demanded life in prison for the 18-year-old boy.
He was found guilty of stabbing Arisa Yamada, 22, in the back on a street in the Kichijoji district Feb. 28, 2013, and stealing her purse containing about ¥10,000. He acted in collusion with a 19-year-old Japanese male.
The court said that in committing the robbery, the boy stabbed the victim with extreme force and therefore must have been aware of the harm he would inflict. The boy’s lawyers argued that he hadn’t intended to kill the victim and sought a sentence of five to 10 years in prison or protective detention for minors.
The Japanese assailant was earlier given a life sentence and has filed an appeal.
The Romanian reportedly tried to withdraw money using Yamada’s cash card at a convenience store near the crime scene but gave up after he failed to punch in the correct PIN number.
The police found him shortly after the attack near JR Kichijoji Station. Gloves he was believed wearing at the time of the crime were stained with blood matching Yamada’s DNA, police said.