TOCHIGI (TR) – A court here on Wednesday handed former marathon champion Yumiko Hara, 35, a suspended prison term for shoplifting from a convenience store in Ashikaga City, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Nov. 8).
At the Ashikaga branch of the Tochigi District Court, presiding judge Kaizan Nakamura handed Hara a one-year prison term, suspended for three years, for stealing eight items worth about 2,700 yen from an outlet of chain 7-Eleven located in the Minamiomachi on July 30.
The prosecution sought a one-year term, arguing that Hara acted out of selfishness.
The defense argued that restrictions placed on her body weight during her career caused her to suffer from bulimia, a condition that led to her becoming a shoplifter. It added that a settlement had been reached with the operator of the convenience store.
In handing down the ruling, judge Nakamura took into consideration that Hara entered a hospital voluntarily to receive treatment, a sign that she has reflected upon her crime, the judge said. “The hope is that you will rehabilitate within society,” the judge said.
Hara took first place in the Nagoya International Women’s Marathon in 2005 and the Osaka International Ladies Marathon two years later.