Mentally ill man who beat adoptive father to death jailed 15 years

Su Caizhi, 30, has a history of schizophrenia, but often did not take his medication.
Su Caizhi, 30, has a history of schizophrenia, but often did not take his medication.

A mentally ill man who went on a savage rampage on New Year's Eve in 2015, beating his adoptive father to death and assaulting his adoptive mother and his girlfriend, was jailed for more than 15 years yesterday.

Su Caizhi, 30, has a history of schizophrenia, but often did not take his medication.

Justice Kannan Ramesh said Su had launched an unprovoked and savage assault against his defenceless 72-year-old father Pang Tee Lin. Three days after he was discharged from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) on Dec 9, 2015, Su went off his medication and started experiencing psychotic symptoms and hearing voices.

Su did not resume his medication, and made matters worse by sniffing glue and consuming alcohol on the day of the assault, said the judge. A long jail term will ensure that Su is treated in a structured environment and instil in him the need and the discipline to take his medication, he added.

Su was jailed for 14 years on a charge of culpable homicide. He was handed 12 months in jail for causing grievous hurt to his adoptive mother Wong Ah Boey, 69, and 15 months in jail for causing grievous hurt to his girlfriend Melissa Foo Fern Yin, 34.

Su was also given six weeks in jail on a charge of wrongful confinement for a separate incident when he locked Ms Foo and her former husband inside their flat.

The 12-month jail term will run concurrently with the 14 years' jail sentence. The other jail terms will run consecutively, totalling 15 years, three months and six weeks.

Madam Wong was in court yesterday, but left after the verdict without talking to Su or the media.

Su was adopted from China by the childless couple when he was five.

He has been admitted to IMH at least seven times since 2012, with symptoms of hallucinations, delusions, aggressive behaviour and disorganised thought.

When the couple retired, they gave him $70,000 out of the $100,000 from the sale of their curry rice stall. Su lost part of the money in forex trading and two failed businesses, and also paid for an accounting course which he did not complete.

On New Year's Eve in 2015, when Ms Foo went to the family's Bedok Reservoir flat, Su was angered when she refused to engage in an unnatural sex act with him.

He assaulted her and she fainted, but he continued to punch and kick her.

He then turned his anger on his father after voices in his head told him that Mr Pang had hidden his medicine. Su punched his father in the face and when the latter fell to the floor, Su stomped on his face and kicked him in the chest.

He grabbed Madam Wong's head and banged it against the wall. He also slapped and punched her face, and kneed her in the stomach.

When Ms Foo regained consciousness, she called the police.

Mr Pang suffered severe brain injury and fractures to his face, ribs and spine. He was taken off life support nine days later.

When The Straits Times visited Madam Wong's flat yesterday, nobody appeared to be home.

Neighbour Bob Khan said Mr Pang had always been the more cheerful one. "Madam Wong kept to herself. Even after the incident, she is still the same."

•Additional reporting by Rachel Au-Yong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2018, with the headline 'Mentally ill man who beat adoptive father to death jailed 15 years'. Print Edition | Subscribe