KUALA LUMPUR: A hairstylist has been sentenced to death for kidnapping and murdering teenager Lai Ying Xin, whose body was burnt and dumped at a remote area in Kulai more than two years ago.
His two juvenile friends were ordered to be detained in a prison at the pleasure of the Johor Sultan for kidnapping and murdering their schoolmate.
Hairstylist Teh Kim Hong, 25, who knew Ying Xin and had been to her house, did not show any emotion when the verdict was delivered in a packed courtroom Thursday. The two friends bowed their head.
The victim's mother Chia Siew Phen and relatives were in court. Chia said she was happy to hear the verdict.
In sentencing, Johor Baru High Court judge Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh said he considered seriousness of the offence where an innocent underage woman was kidnapped for ransom and murdered.
"The ransom was paid to the three accused but as they wished to destroy the evidence which could implicate them, the victim was murdered brutally, her body burnt and dumped in a remote area," he said.
In his judgment, Justice Mohd Zawawi, who is based here now, said the three accused did not show any mercy towards the victim.
"The court has to consider the torment undergone by her family members, especially her parents, and the suffering of the victim, who was murdered in a cruel manner," he said.
To both the juveniles, Justice Mohd Zawawi said they were lucky to have escaped the death sentence.
"You are fortunate as both of you are juveniles (then) so the court cannot impose the death penalty," he told the two who work as part-time cook.
The trio were accused of kidnapping Ying Xin, 16, who is the third of four siblings, in front of Hypermarket in Jalan Kulai-Air Hitam in Johor at 9.45pm on Sept 11, 2008 with intention to get ransom money of RM60,000.
They were charged of murdering Ying Xin in one of the juvenile's house in Jalan Alor Bukit Kulai between 9.45pm on Sept 11, 2008 and midnight next day. - theStarOnline