• Kyodo


A court sentenced a former ballet school student to four years and six months in prison on Monday for cutting off a female ballet instructor’s thumb at a ballet studio in Tokyo last year.

The Tokyo District Court said 42-year-old Hiroaki Hashimoto prepared his weapon beforehand and premeditatedly chopped off the instructor’s thumb in a brutal crime.

“It is natural that the victim expressed her desire for severe punishment,” Judge Akira Sugawara said.

Prosecutors had sought a six-year prison term.

According to the court, Hashimoto choked the instructor, who was in her 20s, until she became unconscious and cut off her right thumb on July 6, 2016.

“I was not able to suppress my rage because she treated me in a rude manner,” Hashimoto said during a court session.

The court ruled that even taking into account Hashimoto’s claim, there was no fault in the victim’s conduct that should affect the sentencing.

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