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Woman happy she kills lover
Updated: 2004-03-24 08:56

Jiang Yongmei smiled when a court sentenced her to 15 years in prison for murdering a married man whom she met through a matchmaking agency.

Judges at Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Court said they imposed a light penalty because Jiang surrendered to the police and also because she herself was a victim.

The murdered man's family is seeking compensation of 1.2 million yuan (US$138,554) to cover funeral expenses, alimony, the education fee of his daughter and for mental anguish.

It is unlikely they will receive compensation, however, as Jiang has long been unemployed.

Prosecutors said in the indictment that Jiang, 36, met Pu Haoran through Shanghai Luzhou Marriage Agency in Huangpu District in June 2002. The agency said Pu was divorced, and soon the two became lovers.

Pu finally revealed his marital status when Jiang asked to visit his parents last April.

He tried to calm her by promising to get divorced.

"I was angry when I heard the truth," Jiang said in court.

Pu said as soon as he sold his apartment, he would file for divorce.

As time passed, however, she realized he had no intention of carrying out his promise.

"He wouldn't end the relationship and kept harassing me and even beating me often," Jiang said. "I tried to commit suicide twice to free myself from him but I failed."

She couldn't endure the abuse and decided to seek revenge.

On the morning of October 21, Jiang met Pu and persuaded him to take six herbal tablets commonly used to boost energy and enhance one's mood.

He did not know his lover had laced them with a powerful sleeping agent.

She led him to the Beiyi Hotel in Baoshan District, where Pu fell into a quasi stupor.

Jiang then bound his hands and legs and secured him to the bed. They argued, and Pu shouted: "I will kill your mother when I'm free. I am a philanderer."

Jiang then stabbed him in the neck with a knife, and let him bleed to death.

The matchmaking agency, the court said, was partly to blame for the tragedy since it failed to check Pu's marital status as required.

"Loopholes by marriage agencies are a social problem, and Jiang was the victim," said Wu Qinglian, the defense lawyer.

Driven by high profits, matchmaking firms have soared in number from 12 in 1996 to current 360, of which 48 were licensed, according to statistics.

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