Man is sentenced to death by firing squad for beheading an eight-month-old girl in Belarus in cahoots with the child’s mother
- Viktar Sharhel, 48, has been sentenced to death by firing squad for beating, stabbing and beheading an eight-month-old girl in Belarus
- He was drinking at home with mother Natalya Kolb, 26, when attack happened
- Girl’s father Leonid Kolb arrived home to find his daughter in a pool of blood
- Natalya was also convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years in jail
A 48-year-old man has been sentenced to death in Belarus for beating and beheading an eight-month-old girl.
Viktar Sharhel was sentenced to death by firing squad for killing baby Anna while mother Natalya Kolb, 26, who was friend with him, was at home.
Natalya was also convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years behind bars, the harshest penalty a woman can receive under Belarusian law.
Viktar Sharhel, 48 (left), has been sentenced to death by firing squad in Belarus for beating, stabbing and beheading an eight-month-old baby alongside mother Natalya Kolb, 26 (right)
Baby Anna (pictured left and right) suffered 46 separate injuries during the frenzied attack which happened while Viktar and Natalya were drinking
Viktar and Natalya had been drinking at their apartment when father Leonid Kolb came home to find the gruesome scene, local media reports.
When Leonid walked into the apartment with the couple’s two sons he ‘saw his daughter lying in the pool of blood, her head severed’.
The child had 46 separate injured on her body and was killed with a kitchen knife.
A neighbour said: ‘When Leonid came into the flat he saw a scene out of the horror movies.
‘The ambulance doctor fainted when she came in.’
The baby had been badly beaten before being killed and the murder was carried out with ‘particular cruelty’, the closed-door session of Brest Regional Court ruled.
Neighbours believed the family were ‘happy’ and they had recently baptised the child in the Orthodox Church.
Father Leonid (centre left) came home with the couple’s two sons to find his daughter (pictured holding the girl) laying in a pool of blood
Natalya was also convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years in jail, the harshest penalty a woman can receive in Belarus
Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko recently indicated he would go on approving death penalty verdicts despite hinting he had personal reservations.
He said this month: ‘If the people vote so, we will abolish it.
‘We have had a referendum.
‘Do you think I am happy about this death penalty, considering that I sign it, and then, put crudely, someone is shot?’
But he said the people had decided in a 1996 referendum to permit the death penalty.
‘That’s how the people have voted,’ he said.
Viktor and Natalya pictured during their closed-door trial at Brest Regional Court
‘According to the constitution, this is within the president’s purview in any country where the death penalty is used.’
Only men aged between 18 and 65 are executed.
Those facing the death penalty are blindfolded and forced to kneel. They are then shot in the back of the head.
The method is similar to that used during Stalin’s rule over the USSR.
More than 400 men have been executed in Belarus since the country became independent with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The EU and various international organisations have urged Belarus to stop using the death penalty.