An appeals court in the north-central province of Quang Binh has reduced a jail term handed down to a man who played the main role in the fatal mob assault on a dog thief.
The provincial People’s Court on Tuesday sentenced Vo Hung Toan, 30, of Bo Trach District to nine months’ in prison for “aggravated assault under provocation.”
In September, Toan was sentenced to 15 months in jail by Bo Trach District People’s Committee on for the same crime.
According to the indictment, at around 7:30 am on October 30, 2013, Phan Thanh Sau, 38, and Nguyen Van Tuan, 23, headed into Sen Village in Bo Trach’s Hoa Trach Commune on a single motorbike to steal dogs.
Toan’s wife spotted the pair tossing bait into front yards and cried out for help.
After getting a call from his wife, Toan grabbed a wooden stick and rushed out of his house, brandishing a stick at the thieves
Sau then crashed his motorbike into Toan, laying all three out on the road with injuries.
Two other villagers, Luong Quy Anh, 26, and Vo Van Quoc, 32, rushed to the scene and joined an injured Toan in beating Sau with sticks. Toan reportedly hit Sau in the head repeatedly.
Sau knelt down to beg for mercy but the trio continued the beating until commune police arrived at the scene.
Sau was rushed to hospital with multiple injuries all over his head and body and died the following day.
The Bo Trach District People’s Court sentenced Quoc and Anh to 12 and 13 months’ probation, respectively.
After the first trial, 57 villagers signed a petition calling on the court to reduce Toan's sentence.
According to the appeals court, Toan’s sentence was mitigated after the court reviewed the petition and weighed the fact that Toan had acted under provocation. In the decision reducing his sentence, the judge also noted that Toan had paid his victim’s family full financial compensation
The court upheld the sentences for Quoc and Anh.