Husband Kills Judge During Divorce Trial, Is Sentenced to Death

A man has been sentenced to death for murdering the court judge who presided over his divorce trial in China.

Wu Deren reportedly stabbed judge Hao Jian with a knife he brought to court in Heilongjiang Province in November last year.

The father-of-two is said to have been dissatisfied with Jian's ruling to divide the family property in the divorce settlement and planned the attack in a vengeful rage, according to ChinaNews.com.

His wife, Guan Moumou, had requested a divorce through the Shuangcheng District Court in July, claiming Deren frequently committed acts of domestic violence against her.

However, Deren contested the verdict and disputed the couple's housing ownership and collective land use certificates in the Harbin Intermediate People's Court.

He requested the decision be revised and appealed the judge's verdict.

When these repeated attempts failed, Deren went to the Zhou Family Court on November 13 to demand a real estate certificate from judge Jian.

Armed with a knife, Deren waited for Jian in the court hall before stabbing him in the chest around 12:20 p.m., the Supreme People's Court reported.

Despite the efforts of medics, Jian died of blood loss due to lung and pulmonary artery damage from the attack.

Arriving officers arrested Deren, who immediately confessed he had stabbed Jian to death after drinking because he refused to accept the divorce sentence.

During a January 18 court hearing, Deren appeared at the Heilongjiang Forest District Intermediate People's Court charged with Jian's murder.

The prosecution recommended Deren be sentenced to death, arguing the crime was of a particularly serious nature and had a significant social impact.

Deren was convicted of intentional homicide and sentenced to death, according to a report on the WeChat public account of the Heilongjiang Higher People's Court.

In October last year, a man walked free from court after stabbing his ex-wife to death moments after their divorce was granted.

Mohamed Koukouh was cleared of murdering his ex-wife Rita Waeles outside a court in Veurne, Belgium, where the divorce had been given the go-ahead just minutes before.

The couple had been standing in the courthouse car park in 2018 when they began arguing about money, a jury was told.

As the row escalated, Koukouh pulled out a sharp tool called an awl and stabbed his former wife.

Two years after the attack, 70-year-old Koukouh was cleared of murder and found guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

After the jury delivered its verdict, the court sentenced Koukouh to five years in prison, local media reported.

However, due to the time he has already spent in custody since the killing in March 2018, as well as an early tariff, he was freed.

By contrast, a murder conviction would have attracted a sentence of up to 30 years.

Wu Deren murder trial
File photo: The view of a courtroom before a murder trial on January 18, 2021, in Montpellier, France, as Wu Deren is charged with the murder of Hao Jian after he reportedly stabbed the court judge with a knife in November 2020. Pascal GUYOT/Getty