Three years for teen Facebook killer
A TEENAGER who stabbed a 15-year-old girl to death in a contract killing sparked by a row on Facebook has been given three years in detention by a Dutch court – the maximum sentence that can be imposed on a juvenile for murder.
The Chinese-Dutch killer, also 15 and known only as “Jinhua K”, stabbed Joyce “Winsie” Hau repeatedly on the doorstep of her home near Rotterdam last January, after allegedly being paid €20 by the dead girl’s former best friend, “Polly W”, and her boyfriend, “Wesley C”. He was 14 when he carried out the attack.
Joyce’s father, Chun Nam Hau, who heard his daughter’s screams and intervened to defend her, was seriously injured in the stabbing.
Yesterday, Jinhua K was also convicted of the attempted murder of Mr Hau, who was in court to hear the verdict.
The Netherlands has been shocked by the story, which has become known as the “Facebook murder trial” because the murder contract was allegedly arranged after Joyce posted derogatory comments about Polly W on the social networking site, claiming she was “loose with boys”.
Delivering their verdict yesterday, judges in Arnhem described Jinhua K as having “a serious behavioural disorder with psychopathic traits”. They acknowledged that he had been placed under considerable pressure to commit the murder, but said he could ultimately have refused.
“It’s clear there were threats and several mentions of the Chinese mafia, but these were never in concrete terms,” the ruling said.
“In their reports, the psychiatrist and the psychologist say the pressure was never so great that the defendant could not resist. There were times when he could have sought help – or could have come to his senses.”
They sentenced Jinhua K to three years in detention, comprising one year in juvenile prison and a further two years – with the possibility of a third – in a psychiatric hospital.
Afterwards, Mr Hau said he was “disappointed” at the brevity of the sentence, but not surprised. He said there should be a change in legislation to allow courts to impose longer sentences on juveniles in exceptional cases.
“I lost my daughter and he gets one year in prison and the rest in a hospital. There’s a very big difference between the two.”
Polly W and Wesley C went on trial last week, charged with conspiracy to murder. The case was adjourned to await expert witnesses.