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Tokyo: Man, 53, handed 14-year prison term over killing of Suginami woman

Hiroshi Aoki
Hiroshi Aoki (TV Asahi)

TOKYO (TR) – The Tokyo District Court on Tuesday handed a 53-year-old man a prison term of 14 years over the killing of a woman in Suginami Ward last year, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Jan. 30).

During the trial of Hiroshi Aoki, a former employee home renovation company, he admitted to killing Mieko Ueda, 62, but he also denied abandoning her corpse since she was not yet dead when he dumped her beneath the floorboards of her kitchen.

On Tuesday, presiding judge Toshihiko Niwa indicated that Aoki possessed “strong murderous intent” in handing down the sentence. The prosecution had sought a 16-year term.

According to the court, Aoki and Ueda got into a dispute upon his arrival at her residence on January 11, 2017. After binding Ueda’s limbs, the defendant used a knife with an 18-centimeter-long blade to stab her in the abdomen several times before placing her in a storage space under the floor.

The following April, police entering the residence found the body of Ueda, heavily decayed and with her hands, feet and face wrapped in tape, in the storage space. The body had a stab wound in the left chest.

On the day of the discovery, relatives Ueda contacted police after not being able to contact her since January 3. On February 19, relatives first contacted police about the whereabouts of Ueda. However, police did not check under the floor.

Upon his arrest, Aoki said he killed Ueda after becoming angry with her over a contract for renovation work to her residence.

After committing the crime, Aoki dumped the victim’s mobile phone, a key for the residence, the contract and his clothes in an attempt to conceal evidence.

Regarding Aoki’s claim about Ueda not being dead when he placed her under the floor, judge Niwa said, “Given the injuries of the victim, she died a short time thereafter.”