This, hands down, has got to be the most depressing story of the day.
It was reported in December of last year that Riad Barbour, an ex-solider and a struggling milk bar owner, had been arrested for murdering Dzung Nguyen, a Deer Park post officer, because the victim had refused to sell him a batch of wholesale cigs that Barbour will supposedly use for his business. And not only was it a common murder borne out of hatred, but it was also in the way in which he committed his crime that was most chilling.
The entire act, which was caught on the CCTV of the post office in where Nguyen worked, had shown Barbour waiting for all the other staff to leave until Nguyen was the one left inside in his office; he promptly let Barbour in the back door minutes later.
After a couple of minutes of talking with each other, Nguyen was then shown bending down as he was searching his files for something; that was the time that Barbour had then struck.
“An intense struggle then followed,” Justice Cameron Macaulay of the Supreme court said in the sentence. ”It lasted a number of minutes. Variously, over that time, you hit Mr Nguyen with the truncheon, punched him, struck him with a stapler you grabbed off the office bench, held him in a headlock and, finally, produced a knife and stabbed him a number of times, first to the body and then to the neck.”
The justice then concluded, “Although somewhat clumsy and inept, your killing of Mr Nguyen was an act of savagery.”
After the police had entered the crime scene some days later, it was found out that twelve thousand dollars had been found missing in the office of Nguyen; it was later determined that he had spent the majority of the stolen money on slots and drugs rather than for his family of two.
However, despite being sentenced to about twenty-four years in prison—two for the theft of the money, and twenty-two for the murder of Nguyen—Barbour still had to serve twenty-two months as a condition for his parole; the latter penalty was for being found guilty of robbing a slot place some years back.
Because he was an ex-Army man, the defence that he was suffering from post-traumatic syndrome had been taken into account by the courts; at this juncture, while we do not condone what Barbour had done, we certainly hope the system finds it in their mercy to provide the man with all the counselling and help that he needs.