The Kampong Chhnang Provincial Court sentenced a man to life in prison on January 12 for the murder by arson of his wife and four children aged 3 to 9.
The sentence was handed down by Judge Y Thavarak following the conviction of 39-year-old Nun Sareth on charges of premeditated murder under Article 200 of the Criminal Code, according to the NGO Child Protection Unit (CPU).
On May 9 last year, Sareth’s pregnant wife and four children died in a fire in Boribor district’s Khun Rang commune of Kampong Chhnang province. CPU and authorities investigated the crime and determined that the fire was intentionally started by Sareth in order to murder the victims.
“The crimes were of a heinous and particularly vicious nature that deserved the maximum penalty,” Thavarak was quoted as saying by CPU.
James McCabe, director of operations for the CPU and lead investigator on the case, said it was clear from the initial forensic examination of both the deceased and the crime scene that something very out of the ordinary had occurred on the premises. He said the defendant’s account of how the fire started simply did not make sense when lined up against the physical evidence.
“Today Judge Y Thavarak handed down a sentence fitting to the nature of the crimes committed and I thank the court on behalf of the victims’ family, friends and community,” he said.
The spokesperson for the provincial court could not be reached for comment on January 12.