Baker gets 8 months' jail for slashing man, 72, on arm

Yusoff Ali Said Ali pleaded guilty to causing hurt to Mr Cheo Yam Kiem with a kitchen knife, at the void deck of Block 24, Chai Chee Road, on Aug 13, 2015.
Yusoff Ali Said Ali pleaded guilty to causing hurt to Mr Cheo Yam Kiem with a kitchen knife, at the void deck of Block 24, Chai Chee Road, on Aug 13, 2015.ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A baker who slashed a 72-year-old man on his arm with a kitchen knife was sentenced to eight months' jail on Tuesday (July 4).

Yusoff Ali Said Ali, 56, pleaded guilty to causing hurt to Mr Cheo Yam Kiem with the kitchen knife, at the void deck of Block 24, Chai Chee Road, on Aug 13, 2015.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheryl Yeo said a dispute arose between Yusoff and Mr Chew Chee Kwang, a friend of the victim's, at the void deck that day.

During the dispute, Mr Chew slapped Yusoff.

The dispute concerned money involved in a gambling game, which was played the night before. Both Yusoff and the victim participated in the game.

Angry with Mr Chew and the victim, Yusoff subsequently went to his brother's home and took two knives, with blades measuring 6cm to 7cm, from the kitchen.

Before leaving, he called his brother and said that he was leaving to confront the man who had slapped him. In addition, he called his daughter and son-in-law to be around so that they could be his witnesses, in case Mr Chew or the victim attacked him.

When he arrived at the void deck, he did not see Mr Chew, but saw the victim sitting alone. He approached the victim and slashed him on the left arm with the knife.

While running, the victim slipped and fell backwards.

DPP Yeo said: "As the victim lay on the floor, the accused told him: 'If I want to do anything to you, I can do it now' and 'Don't mess around with the wrong person'."

Yusoff's pro bono lawyer, Mr Ng Bin Hong, said in mitigation that Mr Cheo and Mr Chew were unhappy with the way Yusoff had conducted himself during the gambling game. They dragged him to a nearby grass verge where Mr Chew gave him a hard slap on the face. Mr Chew further told Yusoff that he was an "elder" from a gang and could cause harm to him.

Mr Ng said it was Yusoff's concern for his own vulnerability and safety that motivated him to ask his daughter and son-in-law to be present at the scene.

District Judge Jasvender Kaur said that while she accepts that there was some provocation, the fact is that Yusoff went home and returned about half an hour later, armed with two knives. So there was an element of premeditation.

She said the injury caused to the victim was "relatively minor", and, looking at previous cases, she did not think Yusoff deserved a sentence of more than eight months. She backdated his sentence to June 16.

Yusoff, who had a previous conviction for causing hurt, could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined for causing hurt with a dangerous weapon.