Chinese teacher sentenced to death for poisoning nursery children

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A Chinese court has sentenced a nursery teacher to death for poisoning 25 children, one of whom died. Wang Yun was arrested last year after children at a kindergarten in Jiaozuo city were rushed to hospital after eating their morning porridge, the court said she put sodium nitrite in the breakfast of her colleague’s students for revenge after a fallout.

It described Ms Wang as “despicable and vicious”. The incident on 27 March last year shocked China and triggered global headlines, at the time it was reported 23 children began vomiting and fainting after eating their breakfast. A police probe was triggered after allegations the teacher had poisoned them, on Monday a local court in Jiaozuo sentenced Ms Wang to death. It said in a statement that she had put sodium nitrite into the porridge of the young students of another teacher in “revenge” after they had “argued over student management issues”.

Sodium nitrite is often used as a food additive for curing meat but can be toxic in high amounts. The court also said this was not the first time Ms Wang had poisoned people, referencing an earlier incident where she bought nitrite online and poisoned her husband who suffered minor injuries. One of the poisoned children died in hospital in January after spending 10 months in hospital, the court noted Ms Wang was “despicable and vicious, and the consequences of her crimes were extremely serious, and she deserves to be severely punished.”

While China refuses to disclose how many people it executes, rights groups believe thousands are killed every year, the sentence is carried out by lethal injection or by firing squad.

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