A computer-geek-turned-gambling-addict has been jailed in Australia for 19 years for stabbing to death a colleague after robbing her in May last.
The Victorian Supreme Court was told Yiwen Pan, 25, a Melbourne computer store worker lay in wait outside the shop and attacked manager Juan Zhang, 35, as she left with $9000 in takings.
AdvertisementMs Zhang suffered more than 60 stab wounds to her head, neck and hands as she struggled with Pan on May 18, last year.
Pan took the money, shoved the body in the boot of her own car and drove to an isolated area where, he told police, he waited for her screams for help to stop.
He then drove home and cleaned up, disposing of his bloody clothes, gloves and the knife in a cardboard box which he asked a friend to look after.
Pan used the stolen money to pay off a $2000 debt before going to Crown casino and gambling until 3am, losing $3300.
While an extensive police hunt was underway to find Ms Zhang a message was sent from her mobile phone, a day after her murder, saying she was with a white man by the sea and needed help.
The search led Pan back to Ms Zhang's car where he tried to cover her body in sand and then moved it to a Glen Huntly garage.
He was arrested four days after Ms Zhang was reported missing. Pan made full admissions.
Justice Teague noted Pan's actions in stabbing Ms Zhang to death were substantially the product of his disturbed mental state.
Pan had been depressed and lonely, his former girlfriend had found another man, and he was dissatisfied with work.
Pan was sentenced to 19 years with a non-parole term of 14 years.
The judge said that Pan had pleaded guilty to murder and theft, and had shown remorse. Pan had no previous convictions.
Justice Teague also said Ms Zhang's death had left her family with unanswerable questions as to how such an endearing, beloved and loving woman could suffer such a traumatic and untimely death.
Ms Zhang was born in China and her family flew into Australia to attend the sentencing hearing. Pan also was born in China. He had grown up in China and moved to Australia to continue his studies.