Man sentenced to jail, caning after slashing punter over betting odds for horse races

SINGAPORE - A man repeatedly slashed a fellow punter after he refused to provide him with the betting odds for horse races. The attack left the victim with permanent facial scars, a court heard on Tuesday.

The victim, 44-year-old Moo Kwan Hua, was at a Turf Club betting outlet on Nov 7 when Sim Bee Teck began calling him repeatedly on the phone to ask what the odds were.

Mr Moo told Sim, 49, to stop calling and asking about the odds. Later that day, Sim assaulted Mr Moo with a 15-cm penknife at a coffee shop in Chai Chee Avenue.

On Tuesday, Sim was sentenced to 10 months' jail and three strokes of the cane for hurting Mr Moo, who was left with several lacerations on his face and thigh. Sim received a further six weeks' imprisonment and $6,000 in fines, for running an illegal gambling den.

The court heard that Sim charged at Mr Moo with the penknife when he arrived at the coffee shop around 7pm on Nov 7. He continued to slash him even after both men had fallen to the ground in the ensuing scuffle.

Sim's illegal gaming house was raided by police on March 1 last year. He had set up 11 computers, which ran fruit machine gambling software, in a rented unit in Golden Mile Tower.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok said Sim's reaction to what had been a minor squabble between friends was "disproportionate and vicious". He pointed out that most of the injuries Mr Moo sustained had been to the face.

Pleading for leniency, Sim told the court that he regretted what he did.

The jobless man, who was ruled a bankrupt in 2013, was also fined $3,000 for failing to submit a Statement of Affairs to the Official Assignee within the stipulated deadline.

For voluntarily causing hurt with a cutting instrument, he could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined, and caned. He could have been jailed for up to three years and fined between $5,000 and $50,000 for managing a common gaming house.

pohian@sph.com.sg