SINGAPORE - A robber, armed with a knife, punched a 62-year-old woman inside a lift and threw curry powder at her face before running off.
Kamis Wahab, 42, did this to prevent Ms Lim Yok Choo from recognising him and to give him time to escape.
The unemployed man was sentenced to eight years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane on Friday (July 1) after admitting to robbing Ms Lim of her mobile phone, handbag with a wallet, $70 and a pair of spectacles and a plastic bag containing groceries in a lift of a HDB block in Toa Payoh on Oct 30 last year.
He also admitted to fraudulently having a pair of black Puma shoes for which he could not account.
Investigation showed that Kamis was having financial difficulties and decided to steal. To prepare for a robbery, he packed some curry powder into a plastic container and took a 15cm-long knife from his home.
While loitering near Lorong 7 Toa Payoh, he saw Ms Lim waiting alone at the lift lobby and followed her into the lift.
When the doors closed, he took out the knife, pointed it at her and demanded that she give him her mobile phone and handbag. He also punched her on the left eye, causing a 4cm cut below her eye.
Terrified, the victim squatted and pleaded with him not to hurt her. She handed over all her belongings with a total value of $1,188.
When the lift doors opened on the 24th floor, he opened the container with curry powder and threw it at Ms Lim's face before leaving.
Kamis fled the scene and disposed of the knife. He later sold Ms Lim's phone for $340 at a second-hand phone shop in Geylang Road.
He was arrested on Nov 12 at Lorong 7 Toa Payoh. A pair of black Puma shoes, suspected to be stolen, was found at his home.
Kamis has been given corrective training twice before, and re-offended within two years of his last release.
He could have been jailed for up to 20 years with at least 12 strokes of the cane for the armed robbery with hurt offence. For fraudulent possession, he could have been fined up to $5,000 and jailed for up to two years.