Businessman avoids jail after drowning of woman he dragged into reservoir for 'joke'

Real estate entrepreneur from Macau grabbed young woman and jumped into reservoir - but she could not swim and drowned

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 August, 2014, 1:43pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 August, 2014, 3:58pm

A businessman from Macau grabbed a woman in her twenties and jumped into a reservoir as a "joke", but the woman could not swim and subsequently drowned, according to reports. 

A court in Guangdong gave the man, who owns two real estate companies in Foshan, a suspended 18-month prison sentence for causing the drowning of the woman, Chinese media reported on Wednesday.

The man, identified only as Mr He, has already paid 5 million pataca (HK$4.75 million) to the victim’s family as compensation and has “gained their understanding”, so his sentence has been suspended for two years, the New Express reported the Zengcheng People’s Court as saying on Wednesday.

He, 35, grabbed the woman, who he did not know, around her waist and jumped into a reservoir while the woman was playing on a floating platform last October, the report said.

The woman did not know how to swim, and when He did not see her head surface, he asked friends to help look for her. They later recovered her body.

He, a member of the Foshan People’s Political Consultative Conference, turned himself in to police, the newspaper said.

During the trial, He said the incident was meant as a joke. He apologised to the victim’s family and was reported to have said in court that “he could have never imagined that his joke would have caused the death of a young girl”.

The court ruled that because He voluntarily went to the police and expressed remorse, the penalty could be reduced, the report said.