Woman jailed for blinding colleague with stiletto kicks

Siti Zahara Afifi Abdul Karim was also ordered to pay $5,923 in compensation for the medical expenses of her victim, who is now effectively blind. She wears a prosthetic left eye and has limited vision in her right eye.
Siti Zahara Afifi Abdul Karim was also ordered to pay $5,923 in compensation for the medical expenses of her victim, who is now effectively blind. She wears a prosthetic left eye and has limited vision in her right eye.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

Former nightclub hostess gets 16 months after admitting to causing grievous hurt to 29-year-old during a scuffle

A former nightclub hostess who blinded the left eye of her colleague with her 14.5cm-high stiletto heel was sentenced to 16 months in jail yesterday.

Siti Zahara Afifi Abdul Karim, 28, was also ordered to pay compensation of $5,923 for the medical expenses of Ms Nur Lena Rahmat, 30, who is now effectively blind.

The mother of three had admitted to causing grievous hurt to the then 29-year-old part-time hostess through a rash act to endanger the personal safety of others.

In his brief sentencing remarks, District Judge Mathew Joseph said that there were several aggravating factors in this case.

Siti Zahara had attacked a sensitive and vulnerable part of the victim's body - her face and eye region - by thrusting her stiletto-heeled legs at her face three times.

She had used her stiletto heels as a dangerous weapon.

"In your unrestrained and consuming anger, you had perversely turned a simple fashion accessory item into a lethal weapon. This was simply astonishing and an incomprehensible and inhumane act on your part," he said.

He said Siti Zahara had behaved in an "extremely aggressive manner", and had continued attacking the victim even after a bystander tried to stop her. She had repeated her rash acts, hitting the victim not once, but three times. She stopped only when the victim cried out: "I cannot see, I cannot see.''

"And even though she was in obvious distress, the accused persisted in attacking her victim, which resulted in the horrific eye injuries. This was sheer wanton violence,'' he added.

Judge Joseph said that sadly, the victim, who wears a prosthetic eye, is now effectively blind.

She now also has limited vision in her right eye.

"It is almost beyond belief that a simple stiletto shoe heel can inflict such horrendous eye injuries. These serious injuries inevitably must constitute further aggravating factors in this case," he said.

The court heard that the two women were at Club One KTV Boutique in Jalan Sultan at about 3am on Oct 8, 2015, when they had an argument over the money paid for the braces of the accused's younger sister. The sister had been in a relationship with the victim's male friend, who wanted to continue paying for her braces even after they had broken up. The victim had allegedly urged her friend not to do so.

On the day of the incident, the dispute between the two escalated into a scuffle, during which Siti Zahara fell onto the floor, followed by the victim.

Colleagues had tried to stop the fight, but Siti Zahara continued kicking in a fast and aggressive manner in the direction of the victim.

The victim felt the heel hit her eyelid twice before the heel went into her eye, causing her eyeball to pop out.

She was heard exclaiming: "I cannot see, I cannot see."

In mitigation, Siti Zahara's pro bono lawyer Wilbur Lim said his client was also injured, and was not aware that her heels had injured Ms Nur Lena in the eye.

He said she is remorseful for the harm she caused to the victim.

Siti Zahara, who is out on $10,000 bail, will begin her sentence on Nov 23 as she wants to raise money to pay the victim. She could have been jailed for up to four years and/or fined up to $10,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2017, with the headline 'Woman jailed for blinding colleague with stiletto kicks'. Print Edition | Subscribe