Supreme Court rejects appeal of candy killer

Defendant sentenced to 15 years in prison after trying to feed his daughters poisoned sweets.

sweets at grocery checkout counter 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
sweets at grocery checkout counter 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the appeal of a man sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempted murder, after he tried to kill his daughters with candy laced with insect poison during a dispute with his ex-wife.
The defendant, a resident of the Negev whose identity has not been revealed to protect the victims’ privacy, was convicted and sentenced in the Beersheba District Court in 2009.
The defendant was separated from his wife and seven children at the time of the attempted murder, and was angry about the custody arrangements, the indictment said. In February 2008 the defendant’s 11-year-old son spent the night with his father and brought him a “gift” of boiled candies coated with insect poison.
Suspecting something was amiss, the child gave the candies to his mother, who tasted one and collapsed. She was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with severe poisoning.
Immediately after the event, the 11- year-old son told police that his father had given him the candies and ordered him to given them to his three sisters, aged four, six and 12.
However, when police questioned the son again seven months after the poisoning, the child gave a different version that did not incriminate his father. Instead, the boy testified that his father had not given him the candies, but that he had taken them from his father’s house to try to bring his parents back together.
The defendant appealed against the attempted murder verdict, and argued that the child’s second version was the truth.
His lawyers also argued that the state had failed to prove that the candies had sufficient poison to cause the girls’ deaths.
In rejecting the appeal, Justices Edna Arbel, Esther Hayut and Neal Hendel said that the district court’s verdict was solid and that the son’s first version was logical and consistent with the main evidence. The boy’s second version, the justices said, was dubious and appeared to be a deliberate false version in order to protect the defendant.
The justices also rejected the second argument, saying that even if the poison would not have been sufficient to kill the girls, it was still an attempt to murder them. If the defendant had sought to prove he had no intent to kill the girls but only to cause them injury, he should have expounded that argument in court, the Supreme Court said.