9 months' jail for man who assaulted relative, caused severe injuries to right eye

SINGAPORE - In a fit of rage, a man used an umbrella to repeatedly strike a distant relative of his on the head until the umbrella broke.

After that, Karuppiah Jeyakkumar, now 44, hit Mr Alangam Pillai Rajendran, 55, with a slipper twice and chased him away.

The older man was later found to have severe injuries to his right eye that required extensive surgical repair.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiam Jia Min said: "As such, his vision in the right eye was reduced for a significant amount of time and he needed to use his eye drops for a prolonged period of time.

"His right eye experienced significant discomfort and his activities of daily living might be affected."

Karuppiah, who is an Indian national and a Singapore permanent resident, was on Wednesday (Oct 6) sentenced to nine months' jail after he pleaded guilty to voluntarily causing grievous hurt to Mr Alangam. The attacker was also ordered to pay $315.70 in compensation.

Court documents do not disclose how exactly these two men are related to each other.

The DPP said that Mr Alangam's wife owned a provision shop in Clementi and Karuppiah had contributed cash to set it up. Despite this, he was not registered as its co-owner.

Around September 2017, the couple told Karuppiah that they wanted to sell the shop and share the proceeds of its sale with him.

Karuppiah, however, wanted them to sell the shop to him and the involved parties could not reach a firm agreement on the matter.

Mr Alangam later met a potential buyer outside the shop at around 8.45pm on Oct 2, 2017.

Karuppiah turned up minutes later as he had been expected to hand Mr Alangam an account book and a set of keys to the shop.

The court heard that he became agitated when he saw Mr Alangam and the potential buyer.

Karuppiah then assaulted his relative with the umbrella and slipper before chasing him away.

The potential buyer called the police during the commotion and Mr Alangam took a taxi to West Coast Neighbourhood Police Post.

An ambulance later took him to the National University Hospital where he was found with an injured right eye.

The DPP said: "As a result of the eye injury, the victim suffered from blurred vision and pain in his right eye such that he was unable to sleep well at night, work during the day and exercise each morning as he was accustomed to doing."

A doctor's note on Oct 4, 2017, stated that the eye injury required regular monitoring and hospital visits.

The doctor also discouraged Mr Alangam from performing tasks such as driving and operating machinery.

He was given 148 days of medical leave and was unable to work during this time. He also forked out $7,564 in medical bills.

Karuppiah's bail was set at $10,000 on Wednesday and he was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on Nov 5 to begin serving his sentence.

For voluntarily causing grievous hurt, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined or caned.

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