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Court upholds death sentence for nanny

Writer:   | Editor: Lily A  | From:  | Updated: 2018-06-05

A COURT in East China’s Zhejiang Province yesterday upheld the death sentence for a woman who started a fire that killed four members of the same family in 2017.

At 3 p.m., Zhejiang Provincial Higher People’s Court announced that it rejected the appeal for leniency by Mo Huanjing, a former nanny for the family of Lin Shengbin.

“The previous verdict and the application of law are right. The sentencing is appropriate,” the court said.

The court has handed the case to the Supreme People’s Court for review of the death sentence.

Mo set fire to Lin’s apartment in Hangzhou City on June 21, 2017, killing Lin’s wife Zhu Xiaozhen and their three children, according to the Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court in early February.

The higher court said it stood by the death sentence despite the fact that Mo took actions after setting the fire that could be considered for leniency and eventually turned herself in.

“Mo’s motive was abhorrent, highly vicious and dangerous to others. The consequences of the crime were severe and detrimental to public safety,” the court said.

According to the February verdict, Mo was a gambling addict and had long been in debt. She started working for Lin in September 2016. From March 2017 to June 2017, she stole jewelry and watches from the family worth more than 180,000 yuan (US$28,119). She also borrowed 114,000 yuan from Zhu to “purchase a house,” but gambled the money away.

On June 22, 2017, Mo decided to further gain Zhu’s trust by lighting a fire and putting it out. However the fire spread quickly, and Zhu and her three children died of carbon monoxide poisoning. The fire also caused economic losses of nearly 2.6 million yuan.

Mo escaped from the apartment and called the police.

She was also convicted of theft, sentenced to five years in prison and fined 10,000 yuan.