Taman Jurong murder trial: Former junior prison officer pleads guilty

Lim Wee Thong, who is accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death with a vegetable knife, pleaded guilty to murder on Friday, just four days into his 16-day trial. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Lim Wee Thong, who is accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death with a vegetable knife, pleaded guilty to murder on Friday, just four days into his 16-day trial. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

The former junior prison officer accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death with a vegetable knife pleaded guilty to murder on Friday, just four days into his 16-day trial.

Lim Wee Thong, 48, now faces either the death penalty or life imprisonment with caning for his crime, under recently amended laws that give judges this choice for three categories of murder.

He had initially been charged with intentionally causing Ms Loh Nyuk Moi's death in a flat in Taman Jurong in February 2011 - now the only type of murder that mandates the death penalty upon conviction.

But this was amended by prosecutors to the charge of intentionally causing injuries he knew would likely cause the clerk's death, after Lim's lawyers requested that the charge be reduced.

Lim faced financial difficulties and was indebted to various creditors including credit card companies, banks and unlicensed moneylenders, prosecutors had said in their opening address on Tuesday.

Then aged 45, he had met Ms Loh at the flat in Yung Ping Road on February 13, 2011, which had recently been sold back to the HDB under its selective en-bloc redevelopment scheme for $123,600.

In the days after her death, he had withdrawn $14,500 from her two bank accounts, court documents stated.

Besides the murder charge, Lim also admitted to 15 others of stealing from his girlfriend. These will be taken into consideration when he is sentenced next Friday.

He will be medically assessed to determine his suitability for caning, which prosecutors are seeking as punishment in addition to life in prison.