Vic hammer murderer ‘killed in anger’
A Melbourne grandmother who murdered her daughter-in-law with more than 30 hammer blows killed out of anger, not fear, a court has been told.
Huajiao Zhuang, 50, was found guilty in May of the 2012 murder of 21-year-old Dan “Selina” Lin.
Zhuang claimed she had acted in self-defence, but prosecutor Peter Kidd SC said she had an ongoing hostility to her daughter-in-law that exploded into violence.
“The killing was carried out in anger, not fear,” he told the Victorian Supreme Court on Thursday.
Mr Kidd said a fight began while Ms Lin was bathing her young son at her Bundoora home.
Zhuang struck Ms Lin at least 33 times to the head with a hammer, and also hit her on her arms and body, Mr Kidd said.
Ms Lin’s son was present during the killing, he said.
Mr Kidd said it was highly unlikely Ms Lin provoked Zhuang into becoming violent.
“It’s just simply fanciful and implausible that the deceased, Ms Lin, initiated the conflict,” he said.
The trial was told that Zhuang wanted her son, Rong Ping “Peter” Zhuang, to divorce Ms Lin and marry a woman from China so he could earn “hundreds of thousands of dollars” from the woman’s family, thanks to his permanent Australian residency.
But defence barrister Shane Gardner said Zhuang had initially supported the marriage between Mr Zhuang and Ms Lin.
He said Zhuang, of Reservoir, was insulted and upset that Ms Lin had limited her access to her grandson.
Mr Gardner said Zhuang grew up in poverty in China, and gave birth to Peter in a pigpen because of the country’s one-child policy.
The pre-sentence hearing was adjourned until August 1.