Hawker intimidates girlfriend with knife and bashes her head on wall; jailed four weeks

After arguing with his girlfriend over household matters for three hours, Lee Boon Seng charged at her with a kitchen knife, pushed her against the wall and placed the weapon on her neck. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
After arguing with his girlfriend over household matters for three hours, Lee Boon Seng charged at her with a kitchen knife, pushed her against the wall and placed the weapon on her neck. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - After arguing with his girlfriend over household matters for three hours, Lee Boon Seng charged at her with a kitchen knife, pushed her against the wall and placed the weapon on her neck.

The 54-year-old hawker also hurt Ms Tham Feng Jian, 55, in the incident on Sept 14 last year. He strangled her with his hands, punched her in the head, and smashed her head against the wall.

On Tuesday, Lee, who was drunk at the time, was sentenced to four weeks in jail after pleading guilty to intimidating Ms Tham with a knife. One other charge, for hurting her, was taken into consideration.

The court earlier heard that the incident happened at an Housing Board flat in Clementi Avenue 3, where Lee lives with Ms Tham and a man who works at the hawker stall that the couple operate together.

Lee retrieved the knife from the kitchen around 11.50pm that night, almost three hours after they began arguing at 9pm. Alarmed at his actions and having the knife placed on her neck, Ms Tham pushed Lee's hand away, which caused him to drop the weapon onto the floor. The couple continued to argue throughout the incident.

Their worker, who was home and saw what had happened, called the police about an hour later.

A pre-sentencing report found that Lee was not suitable for a mandatory treatment order. Citing the report on Tuesday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Gabriel Choong said this was because Lee's conditions of alcohol dependency syndrome and personality disorder cannot be treated "from a clinical perspective".

For criminal intimidation, Lee could have been jailed for up to two years and fined. He could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000 for voluntarily hurting Ms Tham.

pohian@sph.com.sg