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Woman jailed for phone theft wins retrial

By An Baijie (

08:51, July 03, 2012

A woman sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing a mobile phone will have her case retried before a court in Central China's Henan province, a statement released by the court said on Monday.

The Zhengzhou Intermediate People's Court has upheld the appeal of 48-year old babysitter Zhang Yun, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing a mobile phone.

The court has ordered Guancheng District People's Court to retry the case, and produce more evidence as to the value of the mobile phone.

A statement from the court said that Zhang, from Zhengzhou, capital of Henan, stole a mobile phone from her employer, surnamed Su, on December 2, 2011. Fearing discovery, she buried the mobile phone in a radish field.

Su reported the case to police who found the phone after reviewing surveillance camera footage from Su's apartment.

Zhang claimed Su owed her money for work, and she just wanted to keep the mobile phone as payment.

A report from the Dahe Daily said the court rejected Zhang's claims due to the lack of evidence.

In Zhang's first trial the mobile phone was valued at 60,000 yuan. She was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and fined 20,000 yuan.

The sentence ignited public discussion on the internet, with many people questioning the real value of the mobile phone.

According to an online survey conducted by website, more than 95 percent of netizens thought that the sentence was too harsh.


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