Man gets 3 years, 12 strokes for robbing woman with disability

SINGAPORE - He targeted a frail-looking woman who was deaf, tailed her into a lift and robbed her.

Tan Min Bin, 29, was sentenced to three years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane on Friday (April 5).

The court heard that Tan targeted the victim, Madam Chan Mei Lei, when the 53-year-old woman was walking home after alighting at a bus stop at about 8.50pm after work on Aug 15 last year.

Tan tailed Madam Chan into a lift at Block 133 Simei Street 1. While in the lift, Madam Chan began rummaging for her mobile phone in her handbag as Tan stood behind her.

When the lift door opened on the ninth storey, Tan exited. However, it was only a ruse, as he dashed back in almost immediately.

He pushed Madam Chan's shoulder and tried to snatch her handbag but she resisted.

During the scuffle, Tan repeatedly pushed Madam Chan, causing her upper back to hit the lift panels. He then reached into the handbag and grabbed her mobile phone, but later released it to snatch her wallet.

Madam Chan attempted to grab her wallet back but was unsuccessful. When the lift door opened again, he pushed her and escaped by running down the staircase.

She gave chase but could not catch up with him. As she was deaf, Madam Chan was unable to get passers-by to help and returned home to alert her nephew to the robbery.

The court was told that Tan kept a Kopitiam card, a United Overseas Bank card, two CashCards for use at foodcourts Platform M and Food Junction, as well as a PAssion card from the wallet.

He later threw the wallet away with its other contents.

Tan was arrested about two hours after the robbery, which was captured on the closed-circuit television camera installed in the lift.

After the incident, Madam Chan suffered persistent chest pains and was hospitalised for three days at Changi General Hospital.

Tan was ordered to compensate Madam Chan for her medical bills amounting to nearly $800, failing which he will be jailed for an additional day.

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