Drug offender jailed 9 months for wrongfully confining friend in flat for nearly 19 hours

Ho Chin Hin, 57, committed the offence as he suspected Mr Khiong Lam Swee, 62, of informing the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) about his drug offences.
Ho Chin Hin, 57, committed the offence as he suspected Mr Khiong Lam Swee, 62, of informing the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) about his drug offences.ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A drug offender was jailed for nine months on Tuesday (July 25) for wrongfully confining his friend in his third-storey flat for about 19 hours over May 17 to 18 last year.

Ho Chin Hin, 57, committed the offence as he suspected Mr Khiong Lam Swee, 62, of informing the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) about his drug offences.

Mr Khiong, who moved around in a wheelchair, tried to get out of Ho's Eunos Crescent flat by climbing out of a window.

But he fell onto the ground below and was rushed to Changi General Hospital (CGH) where he died of multiple injuries.

The court heard Ho was sentenced to five years and three months' jail in July last year (2016) after he was convicted of drug-related offences.

He will spend another nine months behind bars after serving this earlier sentence.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Daphne Lim said CNB officers first arrested him on May 5 last year. Ho was later released on bail.

He met Mr Khiong at the Eunos Crescent Market and Food Centre 12 days later and they consumed heroin together in a toilet.

DPP Lim said: "As the accused had suspected that the victim had provided some information to the CNB which led to his earlier arrest, he decided to take the victim back to the unit at around 12pm on the same day."

Once inside the flat, Ho accused his friend of being an informant and the older man denied his allegations.

Ho then told Mr Khiong that he would not be allowed to leave until he told him "the truth".

Ho's younger brother came home about 10 hours later and pushed Mr Khiong out of the flat in his wheelchair. When Ho saw this, he rushed forward and wheeled his friend back inside.

Ho's brother later said that he would not interfere with his sibling's affairs. He declined to help Mr Khiong when the latter asked for his assistance at around 5am the next day.

DPP Lim said Ho was asleep in his room when he heard a loud thud at around 9.40am. He rushed out and saw Mr Khiong's wheelchair near a window.

She added: "He then rushed to the ground floor and saw the deceased lying on the ground. The accused (asked) passers-by to call for assistance. The accused repeatedly asked the victim why he had jumped. However, the victim did not respond."

Paramedics from the Singapore Civil Defence Force rushed Mr Khiong to CGH but he died at around 11.50am.

Police officers arrested Ho later that day, the court heard.

For wrongful confinement, he could have been jailed for up to a year and fined up to $3,000.