A mother of two who cut off part of her former lover’s penis and flushed it down the toilet has been sentenced to a minimum of three years and nine months in jail.
Jian Chen pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Jin Xiang Peng, 48, after she drugged his soup with sleeping pills, bound his wrists and feet and stabbed him at her North Ryde home on February 9 last year. He died from multiple stab wounds.
The NSW Supreme Court accepted Chen’s criminal responsibility for Mr Peng’s death was reduced from murder to manslaughter because she was suffering from a “substantial impairment” of the mind at the time of the killing.
The court heard Chen thought Mr Peng, the father of her youngest son, was a “serial predator” and conman who got wealthy women such as herself pregnant in order to extort money.
Chen, who did not give evidence in court but gave an account of her relationship with Mr Peng to several forensic psychiatrists, said her former de facto partner emotionally manipulated her for many years.
In previous years, Mr Peng had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from her. He had an affair with another woman in China.
“He uses his penis to harm woman [sic] and children. Something inside me said, destroy his weapon, don’t let him harm anymore women and children,” a psychiatrist’s report, tendered to court, quoted her as saying.
On the day before she killed him, Mr Peng had turned up at her house and made threats. She felt she had no legal options to stop him.
As she prepared dinner, the idea of spiking his soup came to her and, soon after he ate, he was unconscious.
When he awoke several hours later Chen bound his hands and feet and stabbed him a number of times in the neck and groin before attempting to cut off his penis and to castrate him.
He had lacerations to the left side of his groin and his penis had been scalped, Justice Monika Schmidt said.
The judge said the act was not premeditated but neither was it impulsive, as Chen thought for hours about what she would do.
Mr Peng was conscious when his genitals were mutilated and she flushed part of his penis down the toilet so “it could not be undone” before she called an ambulance.
Justice Schmidt found Chen’s fear and anxiety was exaggerated by a long-time underlying depressive illness such that her “capacity to understand events, or to judge whether her actions were right or wrong, or to control herself, were substantially impaired”.
However, Justice Schmidt said “her illness does not excuse what she has done” and she needed to be punished with jail time.
Chen was given a maximum sentence of six years and nine months. With time served, she will be eligible for parole on November 8, 2014.
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