SINGAPORE - A 25-year-old woman who stabbed her former girlfriend after the latter refused to get back into a relationship with her, then turned the knife on herself, was jailed for four years on Friday.
Giselle Shi Jia Wei, whose eyes were filled with tears throughout the court session, had pleaded guilty last week to attempted culpable homicide by stabbing Ms Ummul Qurratu 'Ain Abdul Rahman, 22, twice in the chest in a Geylang hotel room in July 2012. A charge of attempted suicide was taken into consideration.
On Friday, prosecutors sought a five-year jail term for Shi, arguing that her crime was premeditated and had caused the victim to suffer physical and psychological trauma. Shi's lawyers submitted testimonials from her friends and asked for a pre-sentence report to determine if she was suitable for probation.
In passing sentence, Justice Choo Han Teck said a long jail term would not serve much public interest and that Shi's sentence should "lean towards rehabilitation".
The courtroom was packed with Shi's friends and family, including her parents, who declined comment after the verdict. The victim was not present but told the court in a statement that she was "angry" and "disappointed" with Shi for what she had done and for putting her through the trial.
Shi initially claimed trial to attempted murder. After six days, her lawyers made representations to the prosecution and the charge was amended to a lesser one of attempted culpable homicide.
The court heard earlier that the pair's romantic relationship, which started in July 2011, was fraught with quarrels due to Shi's possessiveness.
Following a spat on July 14, 2012, Shi told Ms Qurratu 'Ain that she wanted to end their relationship. Three days later, the pair spent the night at a Geylang hotel where Shi tried to patch things up but to no avail.
On July 22, the pair checked into the hotel again, with Shi carrying the knife in her bag. While the victim was lying naked in bed, Shi asked to start afresh. When Ms Qurratu 'Ain rejected her, Shi stabbed her before stabbing her own chest.
Ms Qurratu 'Ain tried repeatedly to leave the room but was foiled by Shi each time. Eventually, she escaped and sought help from a couple, who called the police.
The maximum punishment for attempted culpable homicide is 15 years' jail and a possible fine.