“B ****** s,” he yelled in court, as the judges sen­tenced him to death

India Today - - COVER STORY / CHILD RAPISTS - — Amar­nath Menon

CON­VICTED: S. DASWANT, 23, of Chen­nai, sen­tenced to death by the Mahila Court of Chen­galpet in Tamil Nadu in Fe­bru­ary 2018 for the rape and mur­der of a mi­nor girl. He has chal­lenged the con­vic­tion be­fore the Madras High Court. He is in jail await­ing trial of pend­ing cases (mur­der­ing his mother and threat­en­ing the fa­ther of the mi­nor vic­tim).

PRO­FILE: A me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer, son of mid­dle­class par­ents, who sold prop­erty to se­cure his bail.

ON RECORD: In­vited the seven-year-old daugh­ter of a neigh­bour to play with his dog in Fe­bru­ary 2017. Mo­lested, raped, then smoth­ered her to death. He hid the body in his apart­ment for a day be­fore tak­ing it out in a travel bag and dump­ing it un­der a bridge. Next day, he went back to the spot and burnt the body as re­vealed by CCTV footage. While out on bail, he mur­dered his mother, Sar­ala, with an iron ham­mer on De­cem­ber 2—she had asked him to find a job. While she was ly­ing in a pool of blood, he watched tele­vi­sion. Later, he re­moved her jew­ellery, stole Rs 20,000 and fled to Mum­bai with the help of friends he had made in jail. He used the money to bet on horse rac­ing, to which he was in­tro­duced in jail, un­til caught by the po­lice.

PSYCHOPATH­OLOGY: Cun­ning, crafty and com­pletely lack­ing in em­pa­thy, he posed as a passerby af­ter his first crime, alert­ing the po­lice and even speak­ing to TV crews. Showed no guilt or re­morse dur­ing the trial, chat­ted with po­lice­men around him, and screamed ob­scen­i­ties at the pros­e­cu­tion.

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