Man jailed for 27 months for stabbing girlfriend's neck with letter opener

SINGAPORE - A man stabbed his girlfriend of 18 years in the neck with a letter opener when she wanted to end their relationship, a court heard.

Lim Kok Beng, 53, who works in a restaurant, was on Tuesday (Oct 31) sentenced to 27 months' jail.

He admitted to stabbing and cutting Ms Liaw Bih Jiuan, 43, in the neck with a letter opener, causing the cafe operator to suffer multiple cuts.

The attack took place in the corridor outside Lim's flat in Bedok North on June 4.

Ms Liaw was then living in the flat with Lim and his mother.

A district court heard that about a month earlier, the couple talked about Ms Liaw moving out of the flat and gradually ending their relationship.

Ms Liaw returned home from work at about 2am on June 4 and reiterated her desire to end the relationship.

Three to four hours later, Lim left their room to speak to his mother for a while before he returned and locked the door.

He woke Ms Liaw up and said he wanted to talk to her, but she declined. He insisted on speaking to her, then used his hands to choke her.

After a struggle, both fell to the floor. Ms Liaw tried to kick him away and shouted for help. He grabbed her neck in an arm lock and continued to choke her.

Lim's mother heard the commotion and unlocked the door, but Lim stopped her from entering.

Ms Liaw then took the opportunity to escape and went to the living room, where she tried to call her family members.

Lim followed closely behind, saying that he was afraid she would leave him.

Ms Liaw messaged her friends, asking them to pick her up, while Lim told her not to leave him or call the police.

Meanwhile, Lim took a letter opener and placed it in his pocket.

The court heard that Ms Liaw spotted something in Lim's pocket and asked what it was. Lim's mother felt his pocket and said it was a knife.

Ms Liaw immediately ran out of the flat, pursued by Lim, who grabbed her arms and told her not to leave. He then stabbed her in the neck with the 10cm-blade letter opener.

Ms Liaw managed to grab the letter-opener blade in the midst of being cut in the neck. She broke the letter opener, and threw aside the blade and handle of the letter opener.

Lim then grabbed hold of Ms Liaw and struck her in the head twice with a brick, causing her to fall.

When Lim's mother intervened, Ms Liaw ran to the ninth floor, where she sought help from a neighbour, who called the police.

Ms Liaw was hospitalised for six days.

Lim's lawyer Aqbal Singh said his client was suffering from major depressive disorder at the time.

He could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.