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B.C. judge upholds sentence in Richmond assault involving 'unusual dance'

Feng Han, who kicked in a man's door and held a meat cleaver to his throat, has taken "substantial steps" since the incident "to better understand his emotional triggers."
B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has rejected a Crown sentence appeal in a case where the convicted man said his Richmond victim taunted him with an unusual dance.

A provincial court judge granted Feng Han a conditional discharge after he entered guilty pleas to forcible entry and assault with a weapon.

The Crown argued the sentencing judge erred by failing to craft a sentence that addressed deterrence and denunciation, and imposed a sentence that is demonstrably unfit.

The sentencing judge said Han and the male victim lived in the same Richmond residence where both rented a room.

The court heard Han moved in on Oct. 20, 2022, and his relationship with the victim was negative from the start.

It was on Dec. 17, 2022 that the victim was outside on the lawn smoking and used a stick to hit Han’s balcony, waking him up.

Hearing the appeal, Justice Anita Chan said Han told the other man to stop but he did not.

Han threw a plastic chair at the man and said he was coming to get him.

The victim then ran back inside and taunted Han through the window with an “unusual dance.”

With a meat cleaver in his hand, Han kicked the door to the victim’s room two times, forcing it open.

The victim tackled him. The pair wound up on the bed with Han on top holding the cleaver to the man’s throat, and the victim asking for mercy. The events were caught on video.

There was a second altercation in the kitchen after the victim told Han the attack had been recorded.

The Crown sought a jail sentence of six to nine months followed by probation, and argued if the court wished to impose a conditional sentence order, it should be for a longer period.

Han argued for a conditional discharge.

In the end, the sentencing judge handed Han a conditional discharge with probation for two years. Probation terms included completing 188 hours of community work.

Chan said the sentencing judge faced a difficult decision.

“While the attack involved kicking through a bedroom door and holding a meat cleaver to the victim’s throat, Mr. Han had no prior criminal record and he had taken substantial steps since the incident to undertake counselling to better understand his emotional triggers,” Chan said.

“Most importantly, there were no physical injuries to the victim from the incident, which distinguishes this case from others involving assault with a weapon," Chan added.

Chan said the Crown had not shown the sentence was unfit and dismissed the appeal.