Woman jailed 10 months for disposing dead friend's body on HDB staircase landing and stealing from him

Juwita Mohd Yusof pleaded guilty to the two charges and also admitted to another two counts of failing to report for drug urine tests as per her Supervision Order.
Juwita Mohd Yusof pleaded guilty to the two charges and also admitted to another two counts of failing to report for drug urine tests as per her Supervision Order.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A 36-year-old woman who deposited her friend's body on a staircase landing and looted his corpse earlier this year was jailed for 10 months on Friday (Oct 30).

Juwita Mohd Yusof was convicted last Monday, after she pleaded guilty to the two charges. She also admitted to another two counts of failing to report for drug urine tests as per her Supervision Order.

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, the Supervision Order served on ex-drug abusers lasts for up to two years after their release from the Drug Rehabilitation Centre or prison.

The court had heard that on June 2, Juwita and her friend Karim Arshad, 42, went to 38-year-old Ms Ratnawati Samad's flat in Dover Road, to console and provide relationship advice to her. Her husband had been arrested for drug offences.

The friends stayed overnight at her home.

Some time during the night, another friend, Mr Ramdan Ishak, 37, went to use the toilet and remained inside for a long time.

When Karim went to check on him, he found Mr Ramdan sitting on the toilet bowl, seemingly asleep.

As Karim was helping him out of the toilet, he saw a syringe in the back pocket of the latter's pants.

Mr Ramdan did not reply when Karim questioned him about it, and Karim threw the syringe in the rubbish chute.

Karim, Juwita and Mr Ramdan then slept in the living room.

The next morning, at about 9.30am, Juwita found that Mr Ramdan was not breathing.

She alerted Karim, who tried to wake him up, but to no avail.

As both of them were wanted by the Central Narcotics Bureau, they decided not to alert the authorities, but to dispose of the body instead.

They also decided not to inform Ms Ratnawati, who was pregnant, as they did not want to alarm her.

Karim and Juwita pocketed Mr Ramdan's Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime phone, his sling bag, a blue pen and a pair of white ear phones.

Then, they carried his body and deposited it at the staircase landing between the sixth and seventh floor of the block.

A neighbour later discovered the body.

Karim and Juwita were arrested on June 4. Mr Ramdan's belongings were recovered from them.

Karim was last Monday convicted of depositing the body and stealing from Mr Ramdan. He was also convicted of heroin consumption.

Karim was jailed for eight years and four months, with six strokes of the cane, for his offences.

The maximum penalty for depositing a corpse without consent is six months' jail and a $2,000 fine.

The maximum punishment for misappropriating a dead person's property is three years' jail and a fine; or seven years' jail if the person who commits the offence was in the dead person's employment.

For failing to report for a urine test under the Supervision Order, Juwita could have been jailed for four years and fined $10,000.

For consuming drugs while he has a previous conviction for drug consumption, Karim could have been jailed for 13 years, with 12 strokes of the cane.