Chinese nanny gets 20yrs for chopping up parents of child who died in her care

This file court sketch made on January 19, 2016 shows a Chinese couple, a nanny and her partner identified as Hui Zhang and her boyfriend Te Lu, both 34, accused of killing and dismembering the parents of a baby that had died in the babysitter's care, during their trial in Paris. © Benoit Peyrucq
A 34-year-old Chinese nanny has been handed a 20-year jail term by a Paris court after she admitted to murdering and chopping up her employers - the devastated parents of a two-month-old baby who died in her care.

Hui Zhang had claimed she acted in self-defence as Ying Wang and Liangsi Xui, the parents of the dead baby boy, allegedly attacked her and her boyfriend Te Lu with a butcher's knife.

"It's true, I killed them, and I will regret it for the rest of my life," Hui told the court, AFP reported.

The woman and her boyfriend, who was a co-defendant in the case but was later acquitted, had decided to offer the child's parents money in an attempt to silence them about the boy's death.

Hui and Te, who arrived in France in 2004, invited the couple to their home, but when the parents learned about their son's death, a fight erupted.

Chloe Arnoux, a lawyer for the family of the child's mother, said Hui "was not able to tell them to their faces that their child was dead, so she brought the baby's body into the sitting room," AFP reported. According to Arnoux, the defendants prepared for the meeting by equipping themselves with sharp weapons.

Te testified that he fell unconscious during the row and remained so, while Hui was busy chopping up the two bodies in the bathroom with an electric saw. He said Hui turned on the washing machine to hide the noise, wrapped the body parts in rubbish bags and cleaned her apartment. Te helped the woman get rid of the remains, transporting them "by foot or public transport" to the forest of Vincennes, east of Paris, according to police.

"I was sucked into a whirlwind of nightmares but I am innocent," Te told the court.

After the murders, Hui and Te closed their bank accounts in France and went to China, but came back to Paris shortly after. According to police, they fretted about facing the death penalty in China.

The shocking crime first came to light in June 2012 after two joggers came across a leg, cut off at the ankle, in Vincennes forest on the edge of Paris. Several days later, a guide dog discovered a human torso in the same area.

Before the bodies could be identified, Hui and Te turned themselves in, directing police to the locations of more body parts hidden in the forest.

The baby's body, which Hui claimed she had thrown in rubbish bins along with some of the other remains, was never found, however.

Hui allegedly told police the baby had died in his sleep, while the baby's grandfather reportedly informed them the nanny had given the child sleeping tablets.