SINGAPORE — Jealous that his ex-girlfriend had brought home her new boyfriend, he threw the man's slippers into the washing machine and slashed him with a chopper.
When his ex-girlfriend's elder sister intervened, Cheng Hui Sang also slashed her.
Cheng, a 39-year-old Malaysian who is a permanent resident, was jailed a year on Friday (5 March) after he pleaded guilty to one count each of voluntarily causing hurt with a weapon and one of voluntarily causing grievous hurt with a weapon. A charge of criminal intimidation was taken into consideration for sentencing.
The former chef was in a relationship with the victim, a 36-year-old Malaysian woman, until November 2018 when the woman broke up with him. They still stayed in the same flat, but in different rooms. The woman then began dating another man, also a 36-year-old Malaysian.
The woman shared a room with her elder sister, a 40-year-old Malaysian.
On 28 August last year, at about midnight, the younger woman brought her new boyfriend home to sleep in her shared room. Hours later, the woman went to get her new boyfriend's slippers. As she opened the door, Cheng heard the sound and came out into the living room, where he saw her adjusting the slippers. The woman hastily returned to her room.
He suspected that she had brought a man home. Angry, Cheng went to drink a can of beer and then threw the pair of slippers into the washing machine. Cheng consumed another can of beer then took a chopper and placed it on the sofa in the living room.
Some 15 minutes later, the ex-girlfriend came out from the room and Cheng confronted her, asking why she had brought the man home. A dispute broke out with Cheng trying to force himself into the room despite the woman trying to close the door.
Cheng shouted at the new boyfriend while slashing his upper body with the chopper. According to his charge sheet, he said in Cantonese, "Snatch my girlfriend, chop you to death." The elder sister woke up, saw the fight, and rushed in between the two men. She tried to push them apart, but Cheng continued slashing and inadvertently hurt the elder sister, who bled from her arm.
Even after the woman told Cheng she was injured, he did not cease his attack until his ex-girlfriend restrained him.
The two injured persons were then conveyed to Seng Kang General Hospital. Cheng has since fully restituted their medical fees.
The male victim sustained lacerations over his palms and head, with scratches over his arm. He was also diagnosed with a minor head injury, superficial laceration, and shoulder sprain. His bills cost $134.40.
The female victim had a 6cm-long laceration exposing the muscle and tendon with muscle looking lacerated. Her bills cost $2,256.15.
Cheng's lawyer Lee Wei Fan sought a probation term or a year's jail for his client, the same jail term Deputy Public Prosecutor Bjorn Tan asked for. Cheng suffers from adjustment disorder.
District Judge Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz said that while Cheng's mental disorder and voluntary intoxication lowered his inhibitions and contributed to the offence, she found probation inappropriate.
"In my view, Cheng as an adult offender has not demonstrated an extremely strong propensity to reform or exceptional circumstances that rehabilitation comes to fore and displaces deterrence. Deterrence remains the controlling principle that guides sentencing in this case, given the gravity of the violence in the crimes committed," said the judge.
She added that Cheng's actions were a "conscious and intentional response to feelings of jealousy, hurt and anger when he realised she had brought another man" and that the assault was "sustained and relentless".
"It was purely fortuitous that (the victim did) not sustain more serious injury," given that his head was targetted.
For voluntarily causing grievous hurt with a weapon, Cheng could have been jailed for life, or up to 15 years and fined or caned. For voluntarily causing hurt with a weapon, he could have been jailed up to seven years, or fined, or caned, or with any combination of the penalties.
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