OSAKA — The Osaka District Court on Thursday sentenced a 33-year-old former professional driver to 18 years in prison for killing his two baby daughters, beating one to death and starving the other.

Tomokazu Nago and his divorced wife, Yuri Fujiwara, 27, withheld proper sustenance from their daughter Manami from around October 1995 until her death in January the following year at age 1 because they did not think she was “cute,” the ruling said. The family lived in Osaka at the time.

They beat another daughter, 1-year-old Arisa, to death in July 1997, the ruling said.

“The crime was cruel and brutal. We cannot even imagine how the two children felt at being abused by their parents to death,” said presiding Judge Masayuki Kawaai.

The same court gave Fujiwara 13 years in prison in June. She has appealed the sentence.

The couple have two other daughters and one son.

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