Lower sentence for Chinese man who stabbed loan shark

Yu Huan's life sentence slashed to five years as he was defending his mother's honour

A group of more that 10 people went to Su Yinxia’s company on April 14th last year to collect a 1.35 million yuan (€176,000) debt, the ‘Global Times’ newspaper reported

A group of more that 10 people went to Su Yinxia’s company on April 14th last year to collect a 1.35 million yuan (€176,000) debt, the ‘Global Times’ newspaper reported

 

A young man who killed a loan shark after he sexually taunted and threatened his mother has had his life sentence cut to five years on appeal, in a case that caused much online debate in China.

Yu Huan, from Liaocheng in the eastern Chinese province, was handed a life sentence in February after he attacked a group of his mother’s creditors, stabbing four of them including one fatally.

A group of more that 10 people went to Ms Su’s company on April 14th last year to collect a 1.35 million yuan (€176,000) debt, the Global Times newspaper reported.

There was an altercation and the men beat Mr Yu, who was 19 years old at the time, and his mother, Su Yinxia.

One of the creditors exposed his penis to her, suggesting she become a prostitute to pay back the debt, and “gyrated in her direction”. He flicked cigarette butts at Ms Su and made her smell Mr Yu’s shoes.

The police were called, but Mr Yu subsequently stabbed four of the debt collectors, including the man who had harassed Mr Yu’s mother, Du Zhihao, who died the following morning. 

Mr Yu said in his defence he was fighting for his mother’s honour. In a country where Confucian values are highly respected, such filial piety is considered appropriate.

Police failure

There were further complications in the case because of the police’s failure to intervene and control the situation. While no police negligence was found, two officers had been dismissed over the incident. There was also a suggestion that Ms Su was allegedly involved in illegal fundraising.

After he was jailed for life, there was a huge outpouring of sympathy for Mr Yu, and the incident became known as the “Case of the Dishonoured Mother”.

The Shandong Provincial Higher People’s Court said on its website that while he was still guilty “excessively defending” himself and his mother, his actions were “justifiable” under the circumstances. They did point out that he had resisted arrest and exceeded the normal limits.

Some of the commentators online on Friday were surprised at the leniency of the sentence.

“Public opinion has to an extent influenced the judiciary,” one user on the Weibo social media said.

In its online statement, the court acknowledged that the huge media coverage had brought more attention than usual.