A court in Dong Thap Province sentenced a 35-year-old teacher to four years in prison for assaulting four of his colleagues with acid in March over personal and professional disagreements.
On Tuesday, the Thanh Binh District People’s Court found Nguyen Minh Tien, a former English language teacher at Tan Phu Junior High School, guilty of “intentionally inflicting injury upon other persons.”
Tien was also ordered to pay a total of over VND175 million (US$8,260) in compensation to his four victims, including a teacher, a principal and two district education agency officials.
According to the indictment, Tien was upset after the district’s education agency dismissed his wife, Duong Que Anh - the principal of Tan My Kindergarten in the Mekong Delta province's Thanh Binh District.
He'd also argued over his salary with Principal Nguyen Van Chien, of Thanh Binh Junior High School, where he worked before being transferred to Tan Phu Junior High School last October.
In February, Tien asked Le Tri Tien, a chemistry teacher, to buy him a liter of hydrochloric and sulfuric acid for a total of VND200,000 (US$9.3).
After submitting complaints to relevant agencies, Tien decided to take revenge.
Duong Que Anh (C), the wife of Nguyen Minh Tien, cries as she attends a court in Dong Thap Province August 19, 2014. Photo credit: Nguoi Lao Dong
On March 21, he took a bottle of acid to the office of Do Phuoc Vinh, chief of the district education agency.
After pouring the acid into a glass and pretending it was water, Tien threw the liquid into Vinh’s face.
Dinh Van Cang, deputy chief of the division, rushed to the office, after hearing Vinh’s screams and was also doused with the corrosive substance.
Tien ran out of the office, got on his bike and headed to Thanh Binh Junior High School, about one and half kilometers away.
Once there, he threw acid on teachers Nguyen Thi Minh Trang and Nguyen Van Chien, the school's principal.
Tien turned himself in after the crime.
During his trial, Tien confessed to having attacked Trang and Chien for other personal conflicts. He repeatedly cried and apologized to his victims.