Teen jailed for stabbing fellow beggar over 'bullying'

By Hai Thu   July 9, 2024 | 01:00 am PT
A Hanoi court has sentenced a 15-year-old boy to four years in prison for attacking his 33-year-old begging companion with a knife and leaving him permanently bedridden.

The Hanoi People’s Court said Monday Phung Gia Can was found guilty of "murder" but granted a reduced sentence since he was a minor.

Can and the 33-year-old Nguyen Van Q. were both homeless and frequently begged for food in the same area in Hanoi's Hoan Kiem and Hai Ba Trung districts. The name of the victim was not publicly revealed.

They often had conflicts, with Can harboring resentment after being frequently scolded by the older man and always looking for revenge.

On Oct. 29, 2023, while panhandling near the My Dinh Bus Station, Can bought a folding knife.

That evening he went to Hai Ba Trung Street to find the man.

At around 10:30 p.m. he saw Q. sleeping on the sidewalk with two other beggars.

Can demanded a spot to sit but was refused and he walked away.

Ten minutes later Can, still angry, returned, woke the 33-year-old and stabbed him three times in the abdomen and chest.

On Jan. 16 Can was arrested by the Hoan Kiem District Police.

The victim was left with 99% health impairment and is now in a vegetative state.

At the police station Can said he had frequently been bullied and beaten by the man, which made him angry.

The investigation determined that the victim, suffering from neurological damage, could not testify and therefore the court could not draw a conclusion about their conflicts.

After the attack Can returned to his hometown in the northern mountainous province of Lang Son to live with his father and brother, but did not tell them about the incident.

The family members did not appear to know about the crime and therefore were not prosecuted.

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