Jail, cane for cleaner for drug offences and slashing ex-girlfriend's face with a penknife

SINGAPORE - A cleaner was sentenced to 14 months' jail in December 2016 for offences including drug abuse.

He was released last July after a one-third remission of the sentence due to good behaviour. As part of this remission order, Yusli Ismail was not to re-offend from July 12 to Nov 30 last year.

But he breached this condition, continuing to be a drug abuser every day from July 2017. He also slashed his former girlfriend's face with a penknife two months later, causing permanent disfiguration.

On Wednesday (June 6), Yusli, 42, was sentenced to four years and nine months' jail with six strokes of the cane after pleading guilty the day before to one count each of drug consumption, failing to report for urine tests and causing grievous hurt to the woman with a weapon.

He will also spend an additional 109 days behind bars, which is the remaining one-third of his earlier sentence, for breaching the conditions of the remission order.

District Judge Marvin Bay ordered Yusli to compensate his former girlfriend, dishwasher Norhayati Mohd Abas, the cost of her medical bills which amounted to $1,226. The court heard that the 26-year-old woman is homeless.

Judge Bay said: "The victim is also a person of very limited means and is unlikely to have the wherewithal or gumption to take the step of taking civil proceedings for recovery."

Yusli has to spend another additional week in jail if he is unable to fork out this amount.

The court heard that police initially arrested Yusli at Toa Payoh Bus Interchange on Aug 25 last year for failing to report for urine tests and he was released on bail six days later.

Ms Norhayati bumped into him on Sept 9 in Geylang Road and she confronted him as she suspected that he had stolen her money. During the argument, Yusli became agitated and slapped the woman before using the penknife to slash her face.

When she tried to move away, Yusli followed the dishwasher and attacked her again.  He slashed the victim twice on her face and once on her back before fleeing.

An eyewitness alerted the police and an ambulance took her to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. The court heard that each facial wound was about 9cm long while the one on her back measured 18cm.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Joanne Leong told Judge Bay: "The wounds inflicted on the victim also put her at high risk of forming keloids over her face and back lacerations."

The court heard that Ms Norhayati now needs continuing care and may require scar therapy in the form of topical applications, steroid injections, laser treatment or scar revision in future.

Police arrested Yusli for the second time in Lorong 8 Geylang at around 6pm on Sept 10 last year.