A massage parlour owner in Brisbane, Australia, who was in love with his married receptionist and poisoned her drinks and beauty products after she decided to quit the job, has avoided jail.
The accused, Dae Ik Kim, had reportedly admitted during a previous trial that he broke into the woman's apartment on 10 August, 2015 and poured hydrochloric acid in her orange juice, milk and three bottles of cosmetic products.
However, he quickly returned and replaced the milk and orange juice, realising it was a grave crime. "Since that day I have suffered a lot, I have thought about what I did. I am deeply regretful for my actions," Kim reportedly told the court via a translator, before his sentencing on Thursday (12 October).
Two bottles of the cosmetic products tested by police were found to contain a corrosive substance, the court was told. One bottle of cream had 25gm of acid per 100mL of cream, while the other had 1gm of acid per 100mL, The Courier Mail reported.
Kim knew the woman, identified as Rae Youn Kim, and her husband, Myung Ki Kim, from the time all three of them used to live in South Korea, the court was told. Kim had reportedly convinced the couple to move to Australia, and they agreed and relocated in April 2015, Australian Associated Press reported.
Kim admitted in court that he thought the woman was "more than just a friend" to him as he was in love with her. He added that he felt betrayed when she told him she would quit the job.
It was not clear if the woman quit because of her boss' behaviour or for some other reason.
"He just lost it... he stated. 'I committed an unspeakable crime'," crown prosecutor Danny Boyle quoted Kim as saying in court.
Judge Ian Dearden said it was "deeply disturbing" that Kim entered the apartment of the South Korean woman and her husband to poison her drinks and cosmetics. The judge noted that although his act did not cause any actual harm to the victims, Kim's conduct carried a "significant" risk of inflicting it on the husband and wife.
Judge Dearden also said that considering Kim's immediate remorse over the criminal act, his apology and a compensation paid to the victims, his jail sentence of 10 months has been wholly suspended for a year.