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Death for son who killed dad with hammer

A SHANGHAI man who bludgeoned his father to death with a hammer and badly injured his mother because they didn't approve of his girlfriend was sentenced to death with a reprieve of two years yesterday.

Cao Lei, a 26-year-old, sobbed when the verdict was read out at the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court.

Cao had gone to Australia to study in July 2003. After he obtained a Master's degree in October 2007, Cao met his girlfriend, surnamed Cai, online. She was studying at a domestic college.

"Our love was so deep that I would do anything for her," Cao told judges.

Cao returned to China in May 2008 and went to Yiwu in Zhejiang Province to visit Cai before he came back home. He told his parents that he was going to marry Cai.

But his parents thought Cai wasn't a proper match for their son and there were frequent arguments, the court heard.

Cao said his parents eventually accepted Cai but later changed their minds because of the gossiping of neighbors and relatives.

Cao visited Cai in Yiwu frequently but sometimes his parents would instruct him to return early, saying they were ill.

Cao learned later that this was just a trick. He also found that his parents were reading his online chats with the girl.

On September 23, 2008, Cao's parents again tried to persuade Cao to break up with Cai.

His father had a hammer and was threatening to commit suicide but his mother broke in from another room and tried to stop him.

Cao believed it was just an act but when his parents said they would rather die than agree to the marriage, he attacked them with the hammer, the court heard.

The court gave Cao the reprieve after appeals from his relatives.


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