A TEENAGER who stabbed a man to death after a row over a stove in Whitehead Detention Centre was yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. The mandatory penalty was imposed on Vo Van Hung by Mr Justice Leong after a High Court jury yesterday rejected his defence that the death of Lau A Sau, 26, had been accidental, and found him guilty of murder. Vo, who had denied the offence, claimed to have been 14 years old at the time of the killing. But the Crown, after a bone test, contended that he was in fact three years older. During the trial, prosecutor John Mullick had called evidence that Vo and Lau were inmates of Section 10 in Whitehead Detention Centre. On the afternoon of January 6 this year, they had a dispute over the use of a stove in the camp. It was the Crown's case that later that evening, Lau was watching television outside the voluntary repatriation centre when Vo went up to him. He was heard saying to Lau, ''Did you challenge me to a fight this afternoon?'' before he charged towards him and thrust a sharpened object into his chest. After being hit, Lau tried to run away from the scene by climbing over a fence but fell to the ground. He was bleeding heavily and was rushed to Prince of Wales Hospital where he was certified dead on arrival. The cause of death was a stab wound to the chest, penetrating the heart. Vo, an orphan, was arrested the following day and interviewed by police in the presence of his guardian and a Vietnamese interpreter. Under caution, he admitted stabbing Lau with a knife. He told the police that on the afternoon of the day in question, Lau had tried to take away his cooking stove and they argued. He said that when they met again later that evening, Lau patted him on the shoulder and told him that if he did not behave properly, he would beat him up. At the time, he told the police, he had a knife in his pocket. He took it out and pointed it at Lau, telling him that if he did beat him up, he would be stabbed. However, he claimed that Lau suddenly rushed towards him and ''unexpectedly'' and ''accidentally'' impaled himself on the point of the knife. Testifying in his defence, Vo, represented by Sze Kin, told the court he had pulled the knife from his pocket for his own protection when Lau threatened to beat him up. While he did not deny inflicting the blow on Lau, he maintained that it was only an accident and that he had no intention to kill.