Accused, victim in Vancouver courtroom stabbing were online rivals, documents show
VANCOUVER -- The woman accused of stabbing her online nemesis at the Vancouver Law Courts will remain in police custody for now.
53-year-old Catherine Shen has been charged with aggravated assault after stabbing Jing Lu, also 53, inside a courtroom at the B.C. Supreme Court downtown.
The two women were at the court for a civil matter that was scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, according to Vancouver police.
Court documents obtained by reporter Ian Young, of the South China Morning Post, show a years-long feud between Shen and Lu, dating back to 2005.
Since meeting online, the pair have been embroiled in a cyberfeud, posting disparaging comments about each other on Chinese-language web forums. Court documents show Lu calling Shen “scum” and referring to her family as “garbage,” while Shen calls Lu a “despicable shrew,” among other things. The women have only met each other in person a few times.
The years of online insults have led to Shen and Lu suing each other for defamation. A judge recently found both of them to be at fault. In April 2020, Supreme Court Justice Elaine Adair ordered Lu to pay Shen $8,500 in damages, and for Shen to pay Lu $9,000 in damages.
The alleged stabbing left Lu with life-threatening injuries. It also sparked concerns around safety at the Vancouver Law Courts, where visitors are not regularly screened for weapons.
There are security checkpoints for some courtrooms, but not for the entire building.
The Ministry of Attorney General says it is aware of the assault and that safety and security of all court users and staff is a top priority.
The ministry says in a statement it is reviewing the incident to determine if further measures need to be taken at the court building.
Catherine Shen is scheduled to appear in court on Monday for a bail hearing.
With files from The Canadian Press