A 63-year-old Beijing woman strangled her husband to death and attempted suicide after taking care of him for 15 years. She was sentenced to three years in prison with a three-year reprieve for intentional homicide last Friday as over a hundred villagers co-wrote a plea letter begging for the charge to be dropped.
The woman, surnamed Cui, had been taking care of her husband since he was paralyzed in 1999 due to cerebral infarction. In order to give him full-time care, she quit her job and became a part-time street vendor. Despite some financial support from her village, she still struggled to make a living and pay for a helper for special care. Her children, one son and one daughter, earned only 3,000 yuan a month and visited them during weekends.
Cui’s situation became more grave when she was diagnosed with the same disease in 2013. She felt helpless as she struggled to take care of both herself and her husband, whose condition had worsened, leaving him in a vegetative state.
Cui’s daughter explained that her father could not even open his mouth to swallow food, so Cui would chewed it up before feeding it to him mouth-to-mouth.
Out of mounting pressure and despair, Cui strangled her husband with a tight rope on March 6 then cut her wrist and neck multiple times. Terrified by what she’d done to herself, she called her daughter for help.
“I really couldn’t stand it anymore… I didn’t want to become the burden of my children,” Cui explained in court as tears streamed down her face. “I was having a moment of weakness. I really shouldn’t have done that.”
The verdict was given with consideration of Cui’s dedicated care for her husband and the poor family background. Family members forgave Cui, saying that they understood why she’d done what she did.
[Images via iFeng News]
By Joyce Ng