Source: Iran Times
A jealous Chinese immigrant has been convicted in England of the murder of an Iranian businessman and the attempted murder of his former lover.
A Newcastle Crown Court in northeastern England found that Zhong Guo murdered Iranian businessman Shahdad Pouresmaeilieh, 44, and then shot his former partner, Yung Fang Zhang, in her head. The court ruled that Guo must serve at least 24 years of a life sentence.
Guo, 43, and Zhang, 46, were classmates in China and had once been in a romantic relationship. But for years there was no contact between the two, with both marrying other people and then divorcing.
They reunited by chance in China before they both entered the UK as illegal immigrants, Guo immigrated in 2001 and Zhang came a year later.
In 2005, Zhang joined forces with Pouresmaeilieh in a business. Guo grew uncontrollably jealous of Zhang's ties to Pouresmaeilieh, known as Shaz, and told her to chose between them. Zhang chose Pouresmaeilieh.
The court heard that Guo told Zhang, "So what if I kill, there is no death sentence in England," and said he would get out in many years and "bomb" her family.
On the night of March 20, Guo, a former captain in the Chinese army, went into Zhang's apartment, shot dead Pouresmaeilieh and attempted to kill Zhang, shooting her twice.
Judge David Hodson told Guo, "You coldly shot Shaz at point-blank range in the head. He died instantly and you turned your gun on Ms. Zhang and fired.
"This was a premeditated killing and it has rightly been described as the execution of Shaz, who you believed, and so it appears rightly believed, was having a close relationship with Ms Zhang."
Prosecutor Paul Sloan said, "Shaz was a hard working, law-abiding individual who spent much of his time at home looking after his disabled mother."
Sloan said, "The more successful Ms. Zhang became, the more jealous was the defendant's response. The defendant was becoming increasingly jealous of Ms. Zhang's business relationship with Shaz and he doubtless also suspected the relationship had developed beyond business."
After shooting the pair, Guo dropped the pistol and fled. He was spotted hanging around the takeout restaurant above Zhang's apartment before turning himself into police, saying, "I did it. I did it."
A note was later found at Guo's home, which, the court heard, was effectively a suicide note and indicated he had intended to kill himself as well.
Zhang remains physically debilitated, has difficulty sleeping and eating, has high levels of anxiety and is too frightened to go out alone; she has been unable to resume her business activities.
Guo confessed to murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. His attorney Toby Hedworth said, "He is filled with regret and shame at what he has done. He is tormented that he survived when he should not have.... He has taken the life of a good man and he knows he cannot turn the clock back for what he has done. Ultimately he stands before you a terrified and empty man."
About Iran Times: The Iran Times is an independent newspaper with no affiliation with any political party or faction The Iran Times corporation was founded in Washington D.C. in 1970, in accordance with U.S. federal and local regulations: www.iran-times.com
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