PKU associate professor sentenced to 18 months for family fight

09:57, June 24, 2010      

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Academic squabbles are usually conducted through snide footnotes, or acid words at college dinners, but one associate Peking University professor took things to a more physical level.

The professor, surnamed Zeng, cracked his father-in-law's rib with a broom during a heated squabble. Zeng was recently sentenced by the Beijing Haidian District People's Court to 18 months imprisonment for intentional harm.

The associate professor, now 46, works at the Department of Microelectronics at the university. He quarreled with his father-in-law, surnamed Li, on September 18, 2008, threatening Li with a knife. After Zeng's wife held him back, Li proceeded to beat Zeng with a broom.

According to a report in the Beijing Evening News on Monday, the infuriated profes-sor grabbed the broom and smacked Li in the chest, knocking him to the ground, break-ing his left ribs and bruising his lungs. Later that day he was arrested by the local police.

Zeng said he had undergone an operation for rectal cancer in April 2007, but during the whole of his stay in hospital and recovery, had received no care or compassion from his wife or parents-in-law.

The associate professor claimed that his in-laws hadn't given him any money whatso-ever, and that his own parents had wanted to move in to look after him, but his in-laws had refused to move out of the house.

He also stated that his wife had begun divorce proceedings after his operation, and that he had sued her for abandonment in the local court. After he injured her father, he called off the lawsuit and paid Li 40,000 yuan ($5,869) in compensation. After hearing the case, the court decided that Zeng's inability to cope with family conflicts had led to him intentionally harming his father-in-law. However, given that he'd already paid compensation, they decided upon a relatively light sentence.

Source: Global Times - Agencies


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