A woman sentenced for life imprisonment 13 years ago in southwest China has been released after her conviction was quashed, local media reported. The Higher People’s Court of Yunnan province announced its verdict after repeated appeals, according to the news website People.cn. The woman, Qian Renfeng, was arrested and charged with placing dangerous items in February, 2002 after a two-year-old died after consuming rat poison at the kindergarten where Qian worked. According to local media reports at the time, the court was convinced that Qian fed food laced with rat poison to several children at the kindergarten on February 22, 2002, causing the child’s death. As Qian was under 18 at the time of the alleged offence, she was handed a life sentence. In her first appeal, Qian’s lawyer insisted there was insufficient evidence and that Qian’s testimony had been extracted under police torture. The court dismissed the appeal and upheld the original ruling. In 2010, lawyer Yang Chu applied for a retrial, and the Yunnan Higher People’s Court reopened the case in September this year. Qian and Yang were present at the proceedings and convinced the court that her conviction had many contradictions and unreasonable explanations regarding the origin of the poison and the time and method of placing it. Qian was found not guilty on the basis of lack of evidence and unclear facts on Monday. Her freedom, however, was tempered by her mother’s death in April this year. “My biggest regret is that I couldn’t fulfil my filial responsibility towards my mother for even one day,” Qian said through tears yesterday.