By Yi Whan-woo
The Seoul Northern District Court sentenced a habitual drunk surnamed Lee to two years in prison Tuesday for repeated violence against his neighbors.
The 48-year-old man became the first person to be tried for violence under the influence of alcohol since the city’s police pledged to take harsh measures against those who disrupt public order when drunk.
The ruling came after rising concern that citizens across the country are exposed to alcohol-related crimes.
Police have been criticized for being too lenient toward habitual drunks who pose a threat to their neighbors when out of control due to their level of intoxication.
Commissioner Kim Yong-pan of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency ordered the formation of a special investigation unit dealing with such violence in each of the 31 police stations in the nation’s capital when he took office on May 10.
Lee, a resident of Dongademun-gu, was taken into custody on May 14 after he damaged fittings and equipment at a local district office that morning after claiming that he should receive the same social benefits as disabled people.
The court said the man was found guilty 15 times of committing 69 alcohol-related crimes between 2010 and May this year and was fined or given short prison sentences. Lee’s infractions included sexual harassment and breaking into neighbors’ houses. He also broke into restaurants, pharmacies, hospitals, and stores in his neighborhood and threatened people there, according to the court.
“This man must be harshly punished because he did not make any effort to improve his behavior,” the court said. “The victims are still living in fear because of his violent acts and his deeds caused a great deal of harm to his community.”
Seoul Police showed in their latest research that they arrested 200 people between May 10 and July 17 for alcohol-related crimes.
Only one of them was female, and 160 of those arrested were jobless.
서울경찰청이 '주폭(주취폭력)과의 전쟁'을 선포하고 최초로 구속한 주폭에게 실형이 선고됐다.
서울북부지법 형사11부(김재환 부장판사)는 술에 취해 식당과 주민센터 등에서 영업과 공무를 방해하고 경찰 신고자를 협박한 혐의(업무방해·공무집행방해·보복범죄)로 구속기소된 이모(48)씨에게 징역 2년을 선고했다고 9일 밝혔다.
재판부는 "수없이 많은 지역사회 질서를 교란했고 피해자로부터 용서를 받지 못하고 피해 회복을 위해 아무런 노력을 한 바 없는 점에 비춰 엄한 처벌이 불가피하다"고 양형 이유를 설명했다.
이씨는 지난 5월14일 오전 서울 동대문구 전농1동 주민센터에서 장애인으로 인정해주지 않는다며 난동을 부리는 등 지난 2010년 1월부터 올해 5월까지 주민센터, 식당, 병원, 약국 등에서 69차례에 걸쳐 음주 소란을 벌인 혐의로 구속됐다.
이씨는 지난 5월10일 김용판 서울지방경찰청장이 취임해 서울시내 31개 경찰서에 '주폭 수사전담팀'을 꾸려 주폭 척결을 선포한 뒤 최초로 구속된 '주폭 1호'였다.
이씨는 술에 취해 상습적으로 폭력, 준강간, 주거침입을 일삼고 4차례의 실형을 선고받는 등 전과 15범인 것으로 조사됐다. (연합뉴스)