Delivery driver jailed 14 years for killing colleague who bullied him

Chinese national Li Yongxiang (in red) at the crime scene on June 24, 2013.
Chinese national Li Yongxiang (in red) at the crime scene on June 24, 2013. PHOTO: ST FILE

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

Chinese national Li Yongxiang, 27, walked out of the company premises in Kranji Loop, bought a chopper from a provision shop and returned within minutes to slash fellow countryman Zhu Ai Hua, 35, at least 26 times.

Li was sentenced to 14 years' jail by the High Court on Monday (Nov 30) after he pleaded guilty to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Closed-circuit TV camera footage of the violent attack on June 17, 2013, was played in court, showing Li hacking Mr Zhu and kicking his limp body several times.

Li, who suffered a major depressive episode at the time of the killing, had been charged originally with murder. An Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist, however, found that his condition had substantially 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 woodcraft company. While waiting for his Singapore driving licence, he did odd jobs and was often paired up with Mr Zhu to do flooring works at the homes of customers.

The court heard that Li was often verbally and physically abused by Mr Zhu. Li asked his employer to assign someone else to work with Mr Zhu. But his request for a change was not successful as the manager had difficulties pairing Mr Zhu up with other workers.

On June 17, 2013, Li became frustrated when Mr Zhu scolded him for the way he had placed a trolley.

Feeling resentful towards Mr Zhu for treating him badly over the previous two months, Li told his boss that he had reached the limits of his tolerance and could no longer work with Mr Zhu.

Despite the employer's attempts to make him stay, Li insisted on resigning.

When he could not reach his agent for help, Li decided to buy a knife to kill Mr Zhu.

While attacking Mr Zhu, Li also swung the chopper at another co-worker who was trying to restrain him, slashing the man's fingers.

After killing Mr Zhu, Li threw the chopper into a pail and waited at the main gate for the police to arrive.