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Friday, August 26, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Church goers jailed for bashing follower

Three leaders of a Korean church in Sydney have been jailed for bashing a young woman who failed to regularly attend services.

Junior assistant pastor Chi Yeong Yun, 37, and Bible study teachers Tom Chae-Yong Lee, 22, and James Kang, 21, from Chatswood's Open Door Presbyterian Church, pleaded guilty to assaulting Angela Kim, 19, in July last year.

In the NSW District Court, acting Judge Joe Gibson named Yun as the "architect of the plan" to punish Ms Kim for not regularly attending the church and disrespecting her elders.

Yun was given a 12 month jail term, Kang was sentenced to nine months, and Lee received a three month sentence.

The court was told Ms Kim was picked up at the Waitara train station on July 8 last year and was taken by the men to a park at Bobbin Head in Sydney's north.

She was kicked and punched for about two hours, leaving her with extensive bruising to her arms, legs and buttocks.

Two nights later, Kang went to Ms Kim's home and smashed her portable CD player.

Judge Gibson said Kang's actions were intended to further enforce the message from the beating.

In handing down the sentences, he said the actions of the three men had gone against their teachings.

"Whether it was intended that it go as far as it did, I don't know," he said.

"Religion in this day and age does not countenance such conduct ... and is against the teachings of God."

He said women could not be "coerced and beaten into compliance".

"The victim is an adult able to make up her own decisions," he said.

During the hearing, Kang told the court the group had intended to help Ms Kim but their approaches got out of hand.

He said he knew the actions were wrong and that in future he would deal with people who had problems through the teachings of the Bible.

After the sentences were handed down, a supporter of the three men collapsed and had to be taken from Downing Centre Court on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance.