Man jailed 14 years for fatal chopper attack on colleague

Chinese national Li Yongxiang revisiting the crime scene on June 24, 2013. Li had originally been charged with murder, but a government psychiatrist found that he had a major depressive episode at the time, reducing his mental responsibility for his acts.
Chinese national Li Yongxiang revisiting the crime scene on June 24, 2013. Li had originally been charged with murder, but a government psychiatrist found that he had a major depressive episode at the time, reducing his mental responsibility for his acts.SHIN MIN FILE PHOTO

Delivery driver quit after being bullied at work, blamed victim for the loss of his job

A delivery driver, who quit in exasperation after being bullied at work, decided to kill his colleague for causing him to lose his job.

Chinese national Li Yongxiang, 27, walked out of the firm's premises in Kranji Loop, bought a chopper and returned to slash fellow countryman Zhu Ai Hua, 35, at least 26 times.

Li was sentenced to 14 years' jail by the High Court yesterday after he pleaded guilty to culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Caning was not imposed in the light of his mental condition.

Li had been charged originally with murder, but a government psychiatrist found that he had a major depressive episode at the time, which reduced his mental responsibility for his acts.

The court heard that Li came to Singapore in April 2013 to work as a driver for a firm dealing in timber floors and doors.

While waiting for his local driving licence, he did odd jobs and was paired with Mr Zhu , who verbally and physically abused him.

While he did not complain, Li told his boss that it was hard to get along with Mr Zhu. The boss told their manager to assign someone else to work with Mr Zhu, but the manager could not.

On June 17, 2013, Li became frustrated when Mr Zhu scolded him for the way he placed a trolley. Li told his boss that he could no longer work with Mr Zhu and resigned.

He then decided to kill Mr Zhu, who he blamed for causing him to lose his job, which also meant losing about $7,500 in agent fees.

After buying the chopper, Li confronted Mr Zhu and slashed his neck and other parts of his body. He then washed up, threw the chopper into a pail and waited for the police to arrive.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Ong argued that Li's killing was not in the heat of the moment, but after he had removed himself from Mr Zhu's presence.

Li's assigned lawyer, Mr Ng Shi Yang, said his client is extremely sorry for his actions, which were triggered by despair.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2015, with the headline 'Man jailed 14 years for fatal chopper attack on colleague'. Print Edition | Subscribe