|▲ This is a picture of Kim Byung-chan, the perpetrator of the murder of a female victim in her 30s who was being protected, moving to a convoy at Namdaemun Police Station in Seoul on November 29 last year (Source: Newsis)
The bereaved family of a woman in her 30s who was killed while being protected from stalking asked the court to put the perpetrator, Kim Byung-chan, to death. Kim Byung-chan was accused of stabbing and killing the victim several times in the parking lot of an officetel in Jung-gu, Seoul, on November 19 last year. The victim was being protected by the police after reporting Kim Byung-chan four times previously for stalking crimes, and Kim Byung-chan had received legal measures, such as a restraining order from the court. At the time of the incident, the victim asked for emergency rescue with a smartwatch provided by the police, however, the police only arrived at the scene 12 minutes after receiving her distress call in the meantime, the seriously injured victim was taken to a hospital, where she died from her wounds. Since then, Kim Byung-chan has been additionally indicted on charges of invading the victim's residence, threatening to commit murder, attempting to approach the residence and make a phone call even after being banned by the court. Additionally, after going through the Personal Information Disclosure Review Committee on November 24, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, disclosed Kim Byung-chan's face and name for reasons such as, "preparing weapons in advance to murder the victim at the victim's residence and securing sufficient evidence such as CCTV footage."
After the daughter’s case, the victim's mother attended the second trial held on March 28 this year, at the 26th Hearing of the Seoul Central District Court as a witness and appealed with tears, saying, "I sincerely request the death penalty of Kim Byung-chan, a family destroyer." The mother of the victim sitting on the witness stand said, "My dead child is said to be buried in my heart and to be forgotten, but it is not even buried in my heart. Sometimes, my heart aches whenever my acquaintances, who don't know that my daughter is dead, recommend my daughter's marriage partner." The victim's father, who attended as another witness, said, "The family collapsed overnight. We felt as if we were being killed by that murderer, and we are just breathing, not living life," he pleaded again. When asked by the court whether he had ever been contacted by the perpetrator Kim Byung-chan to ask for forgiveness, her father replied, "No." After listening to the appeals of the bereaved family, the court said at the end of the trial, "I don't think I dare to understand the hearts of the bereaved family. I hope you take care of your health." In the case of the murderer Kim Byung-chan, the police decided to push for measures such as forming a TF (Task Force) to strengthen on-site response including all 258 police chiefs nationwide, reorganization of the local police and new police officer education system, strengthen equipment practicality and usage training, and to expand legal and institutional infrastructure.
Stalking refers to an action that intentionally continues to follow and causes mental and physical damage regardless of the other person's intention. There are a wide variety of types, from online forms such as letters, e-mail, and telephone calls to offline activities such as tailing, surveillance, and unauthorized intrusion. Reports of stalking damages are increasing year by year. The number of stalking disturbance reports by September 2021 increased by more than 70% as compared to the number of reports by September 2020, the previous year. Recently, the form of, "Online Stalking", which that includes finding out personal information, digging for information to disturb privacy, and receiving unwanted images has increased, with the cumulative damage, is increasing as well. In addition, the number of cases in which stalking crimes lead to violent crimes is also rising, and the need to recognize the risk is escalating. If you damage another person by loving them, you should clearly recognize that it is a crime. It is hoped everyone will be aware of the dangers of stalking crimes that can terrorize not only the other person but also the other person's family, and that everyone will be able to have a healthy love.
By Seo Ji-min, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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