Cambodia jails vagrant for killing Dutch woman and baby

Cambodia jails vagrant for killing Dutch woman and baby

PHNOM PENH - A Cambodian court on Wednesday sentenced a homeless man to 13 years in jail for stabbing to death a Dutch women and her baby daughter during an attempted robbery at their Phnom Penh home.

Daphna Beerdsen, 31, who worked as a consultant for the United Nations in Cambodia, was found dead in April and her two-year-old daughter died from her wounds about a week later in a hospital in neighbouring Thailand, where she was sent for emergency medical care.

Two days after the attack, Chea Phin, 35, was arrested at a Buddhist pagoda and confessed to the crime.

Speaking after his sentencing, Phin said he "accepted" the ruling.

During his trial he admitted to the frenzied attack on Beerdsen and her daughter after entering their home and trying to steal a bicycle.

He told the court that he said stabbed the Dutch mother after she noticed he had broken into her property and called for help while using a broomstick to fend him off.

"My goal was to steal her bicycle. I did not go (to her house) with the intention to kill them," Phin said during his trial.

The victim had worked as a consultant for UN-Habitat, which promotes sustainable urban development.

The murders sent a tremor through the close-knit expatriate community in Phnom Penh, a normally sleepy city astride the Mekong River.

In a statement issued at the time, the UN agency said it was "deeply shocked" at her death.

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