Nurse gets 14 weeks' jail for keeping $27,000 she found in wallet, trying to bite policeman's hand

Koh Sock Buay was sentenced to 14 weeks' jail on Jan 3, 2018.
Koh Sock Buay was sentenced to 14 weeks' jail on Jan 3, 2018.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Walking past a coffee shop in Jalan Bukit Ho Swee, a nurse found a wallet on a chair, opened it and pocketed the cash totalling $20,602 and a cash cheque of $6,220.

Koh Sock Buay, 49, then mailed the identity card, casino membership, several ATM and credit cards as well as the wallet to Mr Lim Teck Hong, 54, in two envelopes.

Four days later - on Jan 9 last year - she tried but could not cash the United Overseas Bank cheque as Mr Lim had informed the bank not to accept it.

Meanwhile, a closed-circuit television camera at Seafood Garden Coffeeshop had captured her taking the wallet.

The police traced her but when they contacted her on her mobile phone about the missing wallet, she claimed she had not found anything and switched off her phone.

That was on Jan 10.

The next day, the police went to her workplace and interviewed her. After initially denying she took anything, she confessed when questioned further.

She surrendered the cash to the police on Jan 12 last year.

On Wednesday (Jan 3), she was sentenced to 14 weeks' jail for dishonestly misappropriating a total of $26,822 and trying to bite the right hand of a police officer on May 16 when she was being arrested at Kim Seng Neighbourhood Police Post (NPP).

Assistant Public Prosecutor Lim Yu Hui told a district court that Koh tried to hurt Station Inspector Jerald Chua Boon Yao on that day when she had gone to the NPP for further questioning.

During the session, SI Chua told her there was a video recorder inside the NPP and asked her to take a seat. She insisted on wanting to go to the toilet but SI Chua told her to wait for a woman officer to escort her.

During an exchange of words between them, she managed to slip her right hand out of the handcuffs. When SI Chua tried to handcuff her again, she resisted and held onto her right wrist with her left hand to stop him from handcuffing her.

When SI Chua tried to move her right arm to the back, she tried to bite his hand.

Her lawyer Gino Hardial Singh said in mitigation that Koh had a history of psychiatric problems and an aversion to men after she was abused by her father until a very late age.

Koh, he added, suffers from dysthymia or chronic depression.

The court allowed her to settle her personal affairs before starting her jail sentence on Jan 31.