Chinese student Wejie He jailed for fatal stabbing of girlfriend

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An international student who stabbed his girlfriend 75 times before jumping four stories from a Sydney apartment will spend the next ten years behind bars for her murder.

Wejie “Jack” He was sentenced to 20 years in prison with 13 years probation on Friday after pleading guilty to murder.

The Sydney Supreme Court was told that the Chinese national stabbed 19-year-old Liqun Pan 75 times in the “face, neck and upper limbs” at a Wolli Creek apartment on June 27, 2020.

The 24-year-old left the ward, tried to slit his wrists in the stairwell and jumped from the balcony, causing lifelong injuries.

In her verdict, Judge Julia Lily Ann Lonergan said that “the sheer fear and anguish she (Ms Liqun) must have experienced during the attack is unimaginable.”

She said there was evidence that the attack was “in part directed at (Wejie’s) own unjustified dissatisfaction … failings and inadequacies.”

Much of the trial focused on Wejie’s guilt in the face of evidence of “drug-induced psychosis” and allegations that he consumed 250 cans of “nangs” in two days.

Ultimately, Ms Lonergan said the influence of the nitrous oxide canisters was only a partial mitigating circumstance because he had “repeatedly used and abused” the drug.

“(Wejie) was in a self-inflicted, temporary, drug-induced psychosis… and in that state he turned his rage against Ms Liqun and killed her in a frenzied and merciless attack,” she said.

Also taken into account were Wejie’s lifelong injuries as a result of the fall, including ongoing short-term memory problems and dependence on a wheelchair.

Judge Lonergan told the court that Wejie first met Ms Liqun in Shanghai, China, and that she emigrated to Australia to be with the university student in October 2018.

In her ruling, she cited extensive “evidence of coercive control” in the relationship, including a contract written by Wejie dictating Ms Liqun’s behavior on a trip to China in 2019.

“These included, among other things, that Ms. Liqun should get rid of her acne, not drink, not go to bars or clubs, and not associate with people of the opposite sex,” she said.

“‘Violating any of the above rules is considered a violation of boundaries and is a sign that love is fading and he is no longer important. End of relationship.'”

The court was told that Wejie described Ms Liqun as “obedient and pretty” and that she “did not dare” to oppose him. However, problems arose in the couple’s relationship.

Wejie told his mother that he would “beat her up” if Ms. Liqun did not do her chores and that he was angry because she had a relationship with an older man.

In a victim impact statement read by Judge Lonergan, Ms Liqun’s father Pan described the “devastation” her death had caused and the “agony of unspeakable grief”.

“Liqun will be remembered by her father as someone who embraced this world with kindness and affection… she should have had the best time of her life,” she said.

The court was told that Wejie’s parents – retired journalists in China – were filmed by police teaching him what to say to police officers, including “how to get people to believe his story”.

“His parents and uncle encouraged the perpetrator (Wejie) to claim he could not remember the events and to say someone else was responsible, which he then did,” she said.

Judge Lonergan further described how Wejie’s parents had instructed him to speak about Ms Liqun and the events, but said in his closing argument that the allegations were manifestly untrue.

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