Man attacked neighbour with pole for 'speaking loudly'

An unemployed man decided he wanted to teach his neighbour, who lived a floor above, a lesson for allegedly speaking loudly and dragging chairs across the floor.

Without any warning, he struck his neighbour in a vicious attack at the void deck.

Lee Soon Heng, 53, hit Madam Goh Kim Kee, 69, repeatedly with a wooden pole, breaking several of her bones during the attack in Kim Tian Road on Oct 22 last year.

He was jailed for three years yesterday for causing grievous hurt to Madam Goh, who had to be hospitalised for almost two months after the attack.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheryl Yeo said the two had been neighbours for more than 10 years. Investigations showed that Lee felt the victim was dragging chairs and speaking loudly.

Some time in August last year, he planned to attack the victim to "teach her a lesson''.

He found a 1.4m-long wooden pole at the lift landing of the void deck and hid it nearby so that he could wait for an opportunity to attack the victim.

At about 11am on Oct 22, he saw the victim on her way to buy groceries. After retrieving the wooden pole, he went to a corner of the void deck and waited for her to walk past.

When Madam Goh walked past him, he hit her repeatedly on her head, arms and upper body with the pole. She asked him to stop hitting her and screamed for help.

She then fell to the ground, passed out and lay bleeding. Two residents attended to her, with one of them removing Lee's wooden pole.

Lee was diagnosed with depressive disorder with psychosis, which may have contributed to the offence and caused him to be overly sensitive to unpleasant stimuli, impairing his impulse control.

He could have been jailed for up to 10 years and/or fined. Lee cannot be caned as he is above 50.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2017, with the headline 'Man attacked neighbour with pole for 'speaking loudly''. Print Edition | Subscribe