Outrage as Man Who Stabbed Expat in China Released From Prison
22 Jan 2018
Eight months after police officers apprehended 27 year old Zhou for stabbing a French expat three times on Hai Chang Jie in the Shekou Sub-District of Nanshan District in Shenzhen, China, the attacker is set free.
You may recall the story of the "French Hero" who on May 23rd, 2017, stepped in to defend local restaurant workers who were quarreling with Zhou. The restaurant owner told local media that Zhou was upset because he had been denied a job after showing up drunk on his first day. Video purportedly shows Zhou leaving the restaurant to purchase a knife at the shop next door and coming back to exact his revenge when John Michel Goulston intervened. "I saw the man and heard him say 'I'll kill you' and I knew I had to step in to help," Goulston told us in an interview.
The restaurant owner was saved from any harm; however, Mr. Goulston lost three liters of blood from knife wounds to his head, back and left arm.
He had to undergo three hours of surgery before being stabilized at the then new International Medical Services Ward of the Shenzhen Sixth People's Hospital (Nanshan District).
His 5-year-old son was with him and witnessed the incident.
Goulston was visited by the Chief of Police of Nanshan District of Shenzhen and received a commendation and award for his act of bravery.
The report released by the People's Court of Nanshan District of Shenzhen, Guangdong states that Zhou pleaded guilty to the crime of intentional injury where city prosecutors recommended a fixed-term penalty of no more than one year in prison. He was ultimately sentenced to eight months with his term ending today.
"It is unbelievable to me to hear that he's received such a short sentence."
We sat down with Mr. Goulston after learning of his attacker's release to hear his thoughts on the matter. "It's unbelievable to me to hear that he's received such a short sentence. The police performed an amazing job capturing the suspect while also quickly rushing me to the hospital. If not for them, I may be dead. The city gave me the finest medical treatment and government officials showed me much respect; for which I am eternally grateful. This outcome; however, is outrageous."
According to Article 384 of the Criminal Law of the Peoples Republic of China, a person who intentionally injures another person's body is sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention or control. Whoever causes serious injury is to be sentenced to not less than three years and not more than 10 years of fixed-term imprisonment; Whoever causes the death of a person or causes serious injury to a person by particularly cruel means shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than ten years, life imprisonment or death.
To be sentenced under this article, prosecutors must show that the act was illegal and that other people's health was damaged. This could include personal tissue damage and damage to the normal function of bodily organs. The degree of damage is also taken into account from minor injuries, serious injuries to death. In practice, the identification of the degree of damage also takes into account a combination of the injuries at the time and the results after treatment.
The law states that the intention of the perpetrator must be considered
Although having suffered life-threatening injuries during the attack, Goulston now seems ok with not much more than scars to show of the attack. In order for the perpetrator to have been charged with this crime and not one of attempted homicide; which brings with it a much longer sentence, the law states that the intention of the perpetrator must be considered.
Goulston not only disagrees with the outcome but has been questioning the process that led to the sentence. "I've spoken with lawyers who have told me that I was supposed to be offered a lawyer during the case; which did not happen. I was also supposed to be informed of the sentence and given 5 days to appeal. That also did not happen and now it is too late. This does not change my love for China or of Chinese people, but this is really a mockery of justice in my opinion."
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