Chinese student Wejie He jailed for fatal stabbing of girlfriend

An international student who stabbed his girlfriend 75 times before jumping four stories from a Sydney apartment unit will spend the next decade behind bars for her murder.

Wejie “Jack” He was sentenced Friday to 20 years behind bars with a non-parole period of 13 years after pleading guilty to murder.

The Supreme Court in Sydney was told that a Chinese national stabbed 19-year-old Liqun Pan 75 times in the “face, neck and upper limbs” at a Wolli Creek flat on June 27, 2020.

The 24-year-old left the unit and jumped from the balcony after trying to “cut his wrist” on the staircase, leaving him with lifelong injuries.

Sentencing, Judge Julia Lily Ann Lonergan said the “extreme terror and agony she (Ms Liqun) must have experienced during the attack is unimaginable”.

She said there were indications that the attack was “directed at Ms Liqun in part because of (Wejie’s) own unjustified displeasure … failures and shortcomings”.

Much of the proceedings focused on Wejie’s guilt based on evidence of “drug-induced psychosis”, with claims that he had consumed 250 canisters of “nang” over two days.

Ultimately, Ms Lonergan said the impact of the nitrous oxide containers was only a partial mitigating factor given “his repeated use and abuse” of the drug.

“(Wejie) was in a self-inflicted, transient, drug-induced psychosis … and in that state he directed his rage at Ms Liqun and killed her in a frenzied and merciless attack,” she said.

Wejie’s lifelong injuries from the fall, which included ongoing short-term memory problems and the use of a wheelchair, were also considered.

Judge Lonergan told the court that Wejie first met Ms Liqun in Shanghai, China, and that she emigrated to Australia in October 2018 to be with the student.

In sentencing, she detailed “evidence of coercive control” in the relationship, including a contract written by Wejie dictating Ms Liqun’s actions on a 2019 trip to China.

“It included, among other things, that Ms Liqun should ‘get rid of her acne, not drink, go to bars or clubs or do anything with people of the opposite sex’,” she said.

“Violation of any of the above rules will be considered as crossing the line and will mean the disappearance of love and the fact that he is no longer relevant. The end of the relationship.”

The court was told that Wejie had described Ms Liqun as “obedient and beautiful” and that she “didn’t dare to contradict him”, but problems arose in the couple’s relationship.

Wejie told his mother that if Ms. Liqun didn’t do her chores, he would “beat her up” and that he would get angry because of her relationship with an older man.

In a victim impact statement given to Judge Lonergan, Ms Liqun Pan’s father described the “devastation” her death had caused and the “torture of unspeakable grief”.

“Father Liqun is remembered as someone who embraced this world with kindness and affection…she should have had the best time of her life,” she said.

The court was told that Wejie’s parents – retired journalists in China – were filmed by police coaching him on what to tell officers, including “how to get people to believe your story”.

“His parents and uncle encouraged the perpetrator (Wejie) to claim that he did not remember the events and that someone else was responsible, which he actually did,” she said.

Judge Lonergan then described how Wejie’s parents had instructed him to talk about Ms Liqun and the events, but said the claims were patently untrue.

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