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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Beggar gets 10 years for murder

Beggar gets 10 years for murder

A homeless man has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for stabbing a primary school director during broad daylight earlier this year.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court presiding judge Chaing Sinath yesterday found 50-year-old Sam Socheath guilty of “intentional murder”, but sentenced him to half the standard 20-year jail term after it was revealed he was acting, to a degree, in self-defence.

According to Judge Sinath, on the afternoon of June 23, Socheath was forced to defend himself after school director Kry Chhay Im began abusing, kicking and beating him outside Toul Sleng Primary School for begging students for money.

Socheath, who had no registered home address, stabbed Chhay Im once deeply in the stomach with a vegetable knife. He later died en route to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital.

During a November 14 hearing, Socheath told the court he did not intend to kill the victim.

“The reason I stabbed him was to defend myself.… Because he was abusing me badly, grabbed me and began kicking and beating me,” he said.

The family of Chhay Im is reportedly not seeking financial compensation for the murder.

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