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South Korean man who entered wrong home drunk and killed a person gets 19-year jail term

South Korean man who entered wrong home drunk and killed a person gets 19-year jail term

A South Korean man who mistakenly entered the wrong home in a drunken state and fatally stabbed a person has been sentenced to 19 years in jail.

The Supreme Court of South Korea ruled that the man, who is in his 60s, was fully aware that his drinking could lead to violent behaviour and thus refused leniency in the verdict.

The court upheld the lower court’s ruling, which found the man guilty of murder and separate charges of threats and violence.

The defendant sought a lighter punishment from the court under the law that mitigates sentences for those who have committed crimes while mentally incapacitated or impaired.

The accused stabbed a person to death on 25 November 2022. He was drinking with his friends at an apartment in Bupyeong-gu, Incheon, and left the place heavily intoxicated, wearing someone else’s shoes.

Realising his mistake, he returned but entered a different apartment where he engaged in an argument and fatally stabbed the victim with a kitchen knife, according to authorities.

The defendant claimed that he was suffering from depression and was under the influence of alcohol when he committed the murder, seeking a reduced sentence.

The court cited evidence from surveillance footage and a psychiatric evaluation by medical staff at the National Forensic Hospital to rule that he appeared to be fully conscious of his actions at the time of the incident.

The ruling on Wednesday noted that the man had “long been treated for alcoholism” and was found guilty of committing felonies in the past “leading the court to believe that he was fully aware that his drinking could lead to a violent crime”.

The man was initially sentenced to 18 years in prison by the district court and was handed a prison term of 18 months under separate charges of threat and violence.

The appellate court combined the punishments and sentenced him to 19 years in jail and the sentence was upheld by the apex court on Monday.