A 40-year-old woman was sentenced by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to life in prison yesterday for using acid to murder a teenager she suspected of having an affair with her husband.
Presiding judge Nou Veasna found garment worker Sroeun Nann guilty of “intentional killing by the use of concentrated acid” under Article 16 of the Kingdom’s Acid Law, enacted in January 2012.
“The court has sentenced her to life in prison and orders her to pay 80 million riel [about $19,740] in compensation,” he said, adding that Nann has 30 days to appeal the verdict.
Nann was arrested on March 6, the same day she threw acid over the face and body of 15-year-old Ho Shin Tai Garment Factory security guard Meas Vanny, whom she accused of being romantically involved with her husband.
The teenager – who was previously reported as being aged 20, having lied about her age to get a job at the factory – died of her injuries on March 21.
Her death marked the first reported acid-attack fatality in Cambodia since 2012.
Keo Sokunthea, a deputy prosecutor at the municipal court, said Vanny’s death amounted to pre-meditated murder, as Veasna had purchased half a litre of strong acid from the market for about $2.50 two days before the attack.
“She got angry with her husband for betraying her.
So she then prepared the plot to kill the victim by pouring acid on her,” she said.
“She threw the acid on the victim while she was walking alone from her rental house to work at the Ho Shin Tai Garment Factory.
After the attack, she escaped and went to work pretending that she had not done anything,” she added.
Nann yesterday said she planned to appeal.
“I think that the court’s punishment was very harsh for me.
I will take it to the Appeal Court so I can ask for my sentence to be reduced.”
While Nann has admitted to pouring acid on Vanny, she said she had “no intention of killing her”.
“The reason I decided to pour acid on her is because I got angry that she was having an affair with my husband.
“I just wanted to warn her and cause her injuries so that she would stop getting involved with my husband.”