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Man gets 8 years' jail for starting fire at home which killed his father

Published on Feb 13, 2014 5:59 PM
 
The fire gutted flat of pastor Michael Ho Shiong Chun. A 33-year-old man who set his family home on fire and caused the death of his father, was on Thursday sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. -- ST FILE PHOTO: TERENCE TAN

A 33-year-old man who set his family home on fire and caused the death of his father, was on Thursday sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The High Court heard that on the night of August 5, 2009, Ho Wei Yi, who has a history of psychiatric illness, had heard voices coming from the bed in the master bedroom of his family's Housing Board flat along McNair Road in Boon Keng Road.

Wanting to exorcise the "evil spirits", the unemployed man brought two pieces of paper into the room, placed them on the bed, and set them on fire with a lighter. The voices in his head got louder and he then fled the flat, padlocking the front gates as he left. His 58-year-old father, Michael Ho Shiong Chun, was later found face-down in the master bedroom toilet by firefighters.

Mr Ho, who was a pastor at the Chuan Hoe Seventh Day Adventist Church died from burns on his body and smoke inhalation. The prescribed penalty for culpable homicide not amounting to murder - when the act is carried out with the intention to cause death or injuries likely to result in it - is life imprisonment or a jail term of up to 20 years, and caning or a fine.

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