A man has been sentenced to 10 months in jail after he kept his dead mother’s corpse in a freezer for six months in order to continue collecting her pensioner.
The son, named only as Mr Wu, who had been charged with fraud, was fined 10,000 RMB (R25,000) in addition to being ordered to pay back just over 24,000 RMB (R60,000) of unlawfully gained money, Shanghai’s Baoshan People’s Court ruled.
Jiang Xiaoyan, lead prosecutor with the Baoshan District Procuratorate in East China, said Mr Wu, 44, was jobless and relied heavily on his mother Ms Fu.
She died aged 68 on 4 April last year but was not found until a concerned community worker went looking for her and called the cops on 2 November, the report said.
The authorities gained access to the home and discovered her body in the freezer, the court heard.
Ms Jiang told the judges: “The accused has lived for long periods without a stable income. He considered his financial situation before carrying out the crime.”
At his hearing in June, Mr Wu said he purchased the freezer online in order to prevent his mum’s corpse from rotting and alerting neighbours with the smell.
Between May and October, Mr Wu collected his deceased mom’s monthly pension in the amount of 4,000 RMB (around R10,000).
Natural cause of death
The prosecutor revealed that Ms Fu had been bedridden before her death and passed away from natural illnesses due to multiple organ failure.
Ms Jiang said the pensioner’s son had been “spoilt” and did not know how to take care of himself.
Mr Wu told the court he had been laid off from a steel mill in 2016, and lived off his mother ever since.
He asked judges for a “second chance”, saying: “I promise to be a new man. And I want to give my mother a proper burial.”
Mr Wu is not expected to appeal the verdict after admitting to defrauding the state.