Leniency allowed in assault on classmate by 16-year-old vocational student

Updated: 2015-09-30 08:26

By Cao Yin(China Daily)

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A prosecutor in Beijing's Dongcheng district decided not to charge a 16-year-old boy suspected of intentionally injuring a classmate on July 28 after he realized how serious his behavior was and showed remorse.

The boy, from a vocational school in the capital, got in an argument on the messaging app WeChat in November 2014 and later fought with his classmate, aided by others, according to Liu Chaoyang, the prosecutor.

The beating resulted in the classmate's nose and other facial bones being broken, Liu said, adding that it was a crime of intentional injury.

Since the defendant was a minor and it was a first-time offense, however, Liu decided to rehabilitate him through education, in line with the current Chinese Criminal Law.

Meanwhile, the defendant showed remorse, and his family initiated the payment of money for medical fees to the classmate, trying their best to compensate for both the physical and mental injuries, she said. Taken together, these factors allowed for leniency under the law.

"I was careless in making friends, easily believing some people who always behave wrongly. These people influenced me and didn't bring me any progress. I've realized my fault and will be cautious about contacting people out of school," the 16-year-old said.

"I will become an adult, and I don't want my parents to worry about me. Now I know I will be punished if I break the law."

His parents, who are both unemployed, said they will provide more supervision for their son and give him some suggestions on how to make friends, as well as ask him to learn more about the law.

The victim's mother, a 38-year-old saleswoman, said she understood the defendant because the two boys got along with each other before the incident.

"I attach importance to my son's education. This incident, I believe, will accelerate their growth, making them both more mature," she said.

(China Daily 09/30/2015 page5)