Vietnam man gets life sentence for killing woman who rejected him

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Nguyen Phuoc Thanh, 39, on trial June 15 for murdering Phan Thi Hai Yen (featured in picture behind)

A Da Nang court on Saturday handed down a life sentence to a 39-year-old construction worker for killing a woman by setting her on fire for rejecting him romantically.

The court decided that Nguyen Phuoc Thanh, a house painter from the central city's Hai Chau District, committed the crime under "wicked motivation" and employed a "thuggish manner" to murder Phan Thi Hai Yen, 24, an employee at the Dong Thoi Gian Club in the district.

Thanh was ordered to compensate VND130 million (US$6,200) to the victim's family.

Yen's parents had demanded a compensation of VND393 million, including funeral costs of VND93 million.

According to the verdict, Thanh had known Yen for around 10 months.

However, Yen rejected him in April when Thanh wanted to begin a love relationship, saying she already had a boyfriend.

Thanh confessed he wanted to take revenge against Yen after she called him poor. He said he wanted no one to love her after she rejected him.

On April 20, he bought more than a liter of gasoline and went to Yen's club. When they met outside, he suddenly poured it on her and set her ablaze before fleeing, but turned himself in to the police later the same day.

Yen died at the hospital a day later after succumbing to severe burns that covered 95 percent of her body.

At the trial, Thanh said he did not mean to kill Yen and that he bought the gasoline to mix with paint for work.

However, the court determined that he did intend to set her ablaze because he did not go home from the gas station but directly to where Yen was.

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