Man gets three months' jail for slashing SMRT ticket inspector on board bus

SINGAPORE - A man who slashed a woman ticket inspector while he was on board an SMRT bus was sentenced to three months' jail on Monday.

Govindasamy Lakshmanan, 52, pleaded guilty to causing hurt to Malaysian Lim Chow Chen by doing an act so rashly as to endanger life by waving a penknife and slashing the 52-year-old, who suffered a 5cm cut over her left lower back.

He also admitted to having the 10cm-long penknife without a lawful purpose along Serangoon Road on Nov 17 last year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling said Lakshmanan took a taxi from home to the Tekka area with his two sons, Rubenkumar Lakshmanan, 22, and Sathya Kumar Lakshmanan, 25, that evening.

They met two of Rubenkumar's friends and decided to look for someone to steal money from. At an open field opposite Mustafa Centre, Rubenkumar met another three friends. The group discussed and decided to rob a Bangladeshi national who was carrying a laptop bag.

Lakshmanan was standing some distance away along Serangoon Road and did not participate in the discussion.

Later that evening, the group followed the Bangladeshi national to the traffic junction along Serangoon Road where they punched him and grabbed his laptop bag. Rubenkumar took took the laptop bag and ran towards Tekka Market.

He then boarded Service No 67. Two relatives of the Bangladeshi national gave chase and boarded the bus, trying to pull Rubenkumar out with the help of some passengers.

When Lakshmanan saw this, he took out the penknife and waved it wildly at the crowd. He demanded that they stop pulling Rubenkumar. In the midst of waving the penknife, he slashed the back of Ms Lim who was on duty then. She was taken to hospital and was later given four days medical leave.

As his sentence was backdated to Nov 19 last year, District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim told Lakshmanan that he should be out Monday.

He could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt by a rash act. The maximum penalty for knife possession is two years' jail.

The other co-accused have yet to be dealt with.