A court in Shenzhen recently heard the story of how one man in the city, Shao, strangled his girlfriend, Cao, to stop her complaining of his addiction to online games and refusal to get out and find work.
Shao and Cao became lovers in April last year and, in spite of Shao’s unemployment and growing gaming addiction, moved in together shortly after. On the afternoon of May 13, 2011, the couple had another fight in what had become a series of quarrels. Out of control, Shao choked Cao until she passed out. Finding her still breathing and afraid she might call the police, Shao then killed his girlfriend by wrapping a towel around her neck to suffocate her.
Shao put his girlfriend’s corpse in a bag and went back to playing his online games sitting right next to it. Five days later, he put the SIM card from Cao’s mobile phone into his phone and pretended to be Cao as he replied to text messages from Cao’s colleagues the following afternoon.
“My mother is ill,” he wrote, “I have to go home and have already set out.”
Cao’s colleagues came knocked at the door to her flat. No one answered, but they were able to see light in Cao’s room emanating from the computer monitor.
The superintendent was called and, noticing the stench, tried to open the door but was prevented from entering by someone pushing back from the inside, saying he was trying to sleep. Suspecting something out of the ordinary, he called the police.
Shao was given a reduced sentence of 15 years in prison for manslaughter late last week following a trial at the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court.