A general view of the Seoul Central District Court in South Korean capital Seoul (Photo: AFP)

By UCA News reporter

Jan 18 2024

A South Korean court has handed down two years in jail to a man in his 50s for the attempted murder of a pastor and injuring the building manager of the church, says a report.

Chief Judge Hwang In-sung of the Suwon District Court Criminal Division 12 handed down the jail sentence on the unnamed man and ordered him to undergo psychological therapy on Jan 14, Yonhap News Agency reported on Jan 17.

“The defendant admits to the wrongdoing and does not appear to have planned the crime,” Hwang said.

“In the course of committing this crime, he roamed the streets with a weapon and committed several crimes in sequence. He made no effort to repair the damage,” Hwang added.

The name of the man convicted for attempted murder and the victims were not released to the public.

The circumstances behind the enmity that the man had for the pastor were not reported.

The murder attempt had occurred on Aug 4, 2023, when the man had entered a Christian church building in Gyeonggi-do with a knife in his hand, intending to kill the pastor there.

Allegedly, the convicted man had known the pastor for several years, Yonhap reported.

The man was reportedly furious when he came to know that the pastor was not available in the church.

The building manager had stopped the man, questioned his intentions, and tried to restrain him, which failed.

The convict had later chased the building manager for around 100 meters and had kicked on the glass door of a building where the manager had taken refuge to save himself from the attacks.

The man was later subdued by the police who arrived at the location based on reports from witnesses.

Reportedly, the man had swung his weapon in the air and had screamed that he was there to “kill people.”

The man had also claimed during his trial that “the devil” had made him attack the pastor and had said that he was in a state of mental and physical weakness at the time of the crime which made him lose his sense of judgment.

The court, however, rejected his claims of insanity.

“Even if the defendant’s mental illness played a role in the crime, it does not appear that the defendant’s ability to distinguish objects and control his behavior was completely absent at the time,” Hwang said. – UCA News