Man gets 14 years' jail and caning for stabbing student

He intended to kill the victim after being spurned, court rules

A 34-year-old man who repeatedly stabbed a student nurse at her Housing Board void deck after she spurned his advances was yesterday sentenced to 14 years' jail and six strokes of the cane for attempted murder.

In sentencing, a High Court judge told the accused that the then 20-year-old victim may have "led you on somewhat", but pointed out that she had made it clear to him that she was ending the relationship some time before the attack.

The man, whose name has been redacted from court documents to protect the victim's identity, denied that planned to kill her. Instead, the Indian national claimed he had wanted to kill himself.

But Justice Woo Bih Li concluded that the man, a healthcare assistant, had intended to kill the victim and had inflicted life-threatening injuries on her.

"Fortunately, due to timely action by doctors, the victim was saved," said the judge,.

The accused and the victim met in early 2013 when she was attached to the ward of the hospital where he was working.

He wooed her even though he knew she had a boyfriend. She initially "played along" with him and even raised the possibility of marriage in April 2013. But in the second half of 2013, she decided to stop. She told him that their relationship "was a joke all along".

The accused could not accept this. He made repeated calls to her and her friends. When she blocked his number, he used another one to contact her. He also turned up outside her flat to ask for her hand in marriage.

On Dec 19, 2013, he again went to her home to propose marriage. He behaved aggressively on being rebuffed but eventually left after the police were called.

At about 8.30am the next day, he confronted her with a knife at the foot of her block as she was leaving home for school and demanded that she go with him to talk.

When she refused, he stabbed her in the back. She tried to push him away but he stabbed her in the abdomen. After she fell to the floor, he sat on top of her and continued stabbing and slashing her on her head, neck, body and arms.

"If I can't have you, no man should have you," he told her.

The woman's parents rushed down to them upon hearing her screams. Her father pushed the assailant away and the knife dropped in the ensuing struggle. The accused fled but was detained by two passers-by and arrested by the police.

The man claimed during the trial that he had wanted to kill himself and his lawyers said this practice was "popular with scriptwriters for Indian movies" as a way to punish someone. For someone from the background of the accused, dishing out this form of punishment was "not novel", they said.

Justice Woo did not give weight to this "curious line of argument".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2018, with the headline 'Man gets 14 years' jail and caning for stabbing student'. Print Edition | Subscribe