A Beijing court has handed a suspended life sentence to an 85-year-old man who killed his 98-year-old wife, official media reported yesterday. Yu Songju was found guilty by the People's No 1 Intermediate Court on Monday of murdering Li Cuizhen. Beijing newspaper reports said Yu slashed his wife 28 times with an axe and knife on May 19 after she complained about his behaviour around the house. The crime was committed in Qinghe village, Chadian district, a rural farming area and administrative centre 200km from Beijing. According to a report in the Beijing Morning Post, Yu testified that for the 13 years they were married, his wife had treated him badly. The problems intensified last year when she became paralysed and needed constant care. The court heard that on May 19, Li had awakened her husband and asked for a glass of water. When he returned, she asked for colder water and some milk. When he came back with the milk, she knocked the glass to the floor then complained that he hadn't cleaned it up properly. According to testimony, an exasperated Yu then used an axe and knife to stab and slash his wife. Afterwards, he gashed his own throat in a suicide bid. When Yu, who had passed out from his injuries, awoke next morning, he turned himself into the authorities. In mitigation, it was stated that Yu, who spent most of his life living alone, had been sent three times for re-education through labour. Since retiring, Yu and his wife had survived on a 760 yuan (HK$688) monthly pension. Yu will be freed on his own recognisance, but will no longer receive his stipend, the Beijing Youth Daily, reported.