SINGAPORE - A Malaysian woman suffering from a major mental illness was sentenced to three years' jail on Monday (March 20) for using a paper cutter to slash her landlord's forearm.
Woo Mui Mee, 36, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, admitted to causing grievous hurt to Mr Wong Keng Woo, 76, with the cutter at his home in Yishun Ring Road at about 10pm on Nov 21, 2015.
Mr Wong died about 1½ hours later from acute haemorrhage due to incised wound of the left radial artery. The contributory cause was ischaemic heart disease.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhuo Wenzhao said Woo had entered Singapore on a social visit pass to look for a job about a week before the incident, and was staying at Mr Wong's flat as a tenant.
She had previously rented a room from him in March that year.
On the night of the attack, Woo was angry because Mr Wong had switched off the main power supply. This was not the first time he had done that.
At about 9pm, she saw Mr Wong sitting at a bus stop opposite the block through her room window and shouted for him to return.
She scolded him when he returned to the flat and he threw something on her room door in response. This made her angrier and she took a paper cutter to confront him.
When she saw him outside the unit trying to turn on the power supply, she slashed him once on his left forehand.
She slashed him again when he took a wooden pole and walked towards her. She ran off after a standoff with Mr Wong at the corridor and he returned to his unit.
By then a neighbour had called the police who saw blood at the corridor outside the unit and bloodstains in the kitchen area. But they could not access the unit.
Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers turned up and cut the padlock on the window, and an officer climbed in to unlock the wooden door.
Mr Wong was found motionless on the bed in the master bedroom and pronounced dead at 11.38pm.
In a mitigation plea, Woo's assigned lawyers from Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, Mr Amarick Gill and Ms Cheryl Ng, said their client's actions were a result of her mental condition which led her to believe that the landlord was sexually attracted to her.
An Institute of Mental Health report found Woo had no insight into her mental condition, but if given proper treatment before release, her condition could be managed and she would not repeat similar acts in future.
"A significant and lengthy sentence will be unjustifiable, purposeless and will serve neither Ms Woo's interest nor the public interest," said counsel.
Woo, whose sentence was backdated to Nov 23, 2015, could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined.