Man gets 14 years' jail for killing colleague with chopper
Man gets 14 years' jail for hacking co-worker to death with chopper
He was calm and focused as he walked towards his co-worker in the loading bay.
Without warning, Li Yongxiang, then 26, who was armed with a chopper, made his first swing at Mr Zhu Ai Hua's neck.
Closed-circuit TV camera footage showed the man slash Mr Zhu two more times before he fell.
Co-workers tried to stop the attack but were chased away by Li, who swung his chopper at them.
On the floor, Mr Zhu, 35, was slashed repeatedly as he raised his hands to block the blows.
Li, a Chinese national, kicked his compatriot's body a few times after he saw Mr Zhu, lying motionless in a pool of blood.
He then calmly walked away.
Mr Zhu, who suffered at least 26 slash wounds to the head, neck, chest and abdomen, was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Yesterday, Li, now 28, was sentenced to 14 years' jail for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
A psychiatric report revealed he had suffered major depressive episode prior to and around the time of the offence.
The prosecution, which had sought a sentence of at least 15 years' jail, showed two CCTV clips taken on June 17, 2013, to Judicial Commissioner Hoo Sheau Peng.
The clips showed Li leaving his work premises in Kranji Loop and returning five minutes later at 5.22pm to attack Mr Zhu.
The second clip showed Li attacking Mr Zhu in the loading bay.
The court heard that Li had unleashed his murderous rage on Mr Zhu, who was said to have physically and verbally abused Li.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Ong said it was not the case that Li "had reacted in the heat of the moment".
"The accused had formed the intention to kill the deceased after he had removed himself from the deceased's presence," she said.
At about 4.15pm on the day of the attack, Mr Zhu, a delivery driver, had scolded Li for placing a trolley at the wrong place while both men were loading materials onto a lorry.
Li, who had joined the timber company in April and did renovation work, was frustrated as he had been scolded earlier that day by Mr Zhu.
Li then threatened to resign. Mr Zhu, an employee of the company for four years, responded with vulgarities and dared Li to tell the sales director.
The younger man went to the director's office to relate his frustrations and intention to quit.
Li also attempted to contact three job placement agents but without success.
Said Ms Ong: "It was when he (Li) failed to reach his agent that he formed the intention to kill the deceased (Zhu)."
Requesting a lighter sentence, defence lawyer Ng Shi Yang said Li's actions that day was "out of character" as he was a meek and well-liked personality.
Mr Ng said: "The material events escalated rapidly, leading (Li) Yongxiang to purchase a chopper and assault the deceased, all within a span of five minutes."
Mr Ng said there was no deep planning by his client. Li could have waited in ambush to attack Mr Zhu, or simply tailed him home, but he did not.
On the flip side, Ms Ong pointed out there were many opportunities for Li to "cool off", but he did not.
In mitigation, Mr Ng said his client, who was from a poor farming family, was remorseful and claimed full responsibilty for his actions.
Mr Ng said: "He simply wishes to serve the time he deserves and return home to his family. He hopes that his aged parents will still be alive when he returns."