SINGAPORE - A recalcitrant offender who is currently serving a jail sentence for earlier offences has had his prison stint extended after he bit off part of a fellow inmate's left ear in a fight.
The 53-year-old victim, Lim Lee Yat, is now permanently disfigured as doctors could not reattach the severed part of his ear.
His attacker, Teo Chye Lye, who has been in and out of jail since 1998 for crimes including assault and criminal intimidation, was last sent to prison in 2016 for drug-related offences.
The 56-year-old Singaporean was on Friday (Aug 6) sentenced to 10 months in jail after he pleaded guilty to assaulting Lim. He will start serving this sentence after completing his earlier one.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Gabriel Lim said that the two inmates were in a workshop at Changi Prison shortly before the fight broke out on Dec 15 last year.
They were packing coffee sachets when Teo used his hand to push some of the spilled coffee mix to Lim's side of the work table.
As a result, the younger man had to work on more packages.
A quarrel broke out between the two and Teo told Lim to "not be so calculative".
The DPP said: "The verbal dispute then escalated when the victim punched the accused in the face. The accused retaliated by punching the victim.
"During the scuffle... the accused forcefully bit the upper portion of the victim's left ear. This caused the victim's left ear pinna to be completely bitten off."
Teo suffered bruises on his face.
The fight ended when a prison officer ordered them to stop. He found the severed body part on the floor and alerted the medical team.
Lim was taken to Changi General Hospital, but doctors could not reattach the ear part.
He was also given a stern warning.
On Friday, the DPP urged the court to sentence Teo to between 10 and 15 months in jail, stressing that he is a recalcitrant offender.
For committing the offence, he could have been jailed for up to five years and fined up to $10,000.