Jail sentence upheld in murder of elderly Japanese

Jail sentence upheld in murder of elderly Japanese

Somchai Kaewbangyang, left, and Pornchanok Chaiyapa at the Criminal Court after hearing their sentence in January 2016. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Somchai Kaewbangyang, left, and Pornchanok Chaiyapa at the Criminal Court after hearing their sentence in January 2016. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Appeal Court on Monday upheld a 20-year prison sentence handed down to a Thai woman for concealing the body of a murdered 79-year-old Japanese man and stealing his money in 2014.

Pornchanok Chaiyapa, 50, was last year sentenced to prison for helping her husband conceal the body of the retired Japanese teacher, Yoshinori Shimato.

Her husband was also convicted of stealing more than 45,000 baht worth of the victim's belongings and she was found guilty of illegally using the victim's ATM card to withdraw about 720,000 baht in total from his bank accounts.

The crimes occurred between Sept 21 and Oct 13, 2014.

Pornchanok had been Shimoto's companion. On Sept 21, 2014, she took him to a hospital in Bangkok's Bang Na area as he was suffering from weakness in his limbs.

The woman rejected a doctor's recommendation that he be admitted, telling hospital staff it would be too costly. She then took the man to her house in Bang Sao Thong district, Samut Prakan.

She and Somchai Kaewbangyang, 50, her taxi-driver husband, detained Shimoto at her house, where the victim was killed.

Somchai was found guilty of stabbing and suffocating Shimoto. In January last year, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder. The punishment was commuted from death due to his confession. He did not appeal.

The body was dismembered and dumped in a canal in Samut Prakan's Bang Bo district.

Public prosecutors asked the Appeal Court to also punish Pornchanok for taking part in the murder but it, like the Criminal Court, gave her the benefit of the doubt because evidence only showed that she had taken the victim to her house and to her bed.


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