Prison for man who stabbed girlfriend, bit off her earlobe

After finding out that his girlfriend had lied about her age and was seven years older than he, a man repeatedly threatened to kill her if she did not pay back the money he had spent on her.

On the night of July 11, 2019, Chinese national Chen Jianhua, a cook, 31, confronted club hostess Ye Yuhuan, 38, near her workplace in Race Course Road and demanded that she withdraw a police report she had made against him. When she refused, Chen stabbed her with a knife and bit off part of her left earlobe during an attack outside Muthu's Curry restaurant.

Yesterday, Chen was sentenced to 51/2 years' jail after he pleaded guilty in the High Court to one charge each of attempted culpable homicide, criminal intimidation and trespassing into her room. A theft charge was taken into consideration.

In sentencing, Justice See Kee Oon said: "The attack on the victim was vicious, causing serious injury and permanent scarring."

The judge noted, however, that Chen "came to his senses" and helped to stop her bleeding and surrendered to police at the scene.

The court heard that Chen befriended Ms Ye on the social networking platform WeChat. Between February and June 2019, he bought her gifts and helped her out financially. The pair regarded themselves as a couple although they were not physically intimate.

In July 2019, their relationship soured as Chen suspected that she was working as more than a host in a "flower joint", as she claimed.

On July 7, 2019, at about 8pm, after the victim had gone to work, Chen broke into her room at her hostel without her permission.

He found a China train ticket and a Singapore disembarkation card with her particulars and was shocked to learn her actual age.

Chen then stole items including an iPhone 6 Plus and two red packets containing $800.

Over WeChat, he confronted her for cheating and lying to him. He tabulated the amount he had spent on her and sent two audio messages threatening that they would "die together" if she did not pay him back.

On July 9, 2019, the victim discovered that her things were missing and told Chen that she would be making a police report.

Chen, worried that he might be sent back to China, then bought a knife.

On July 11 that year, Ms Ye lodged a police report. After getting a call from the investigation officer, Chen became enraged. After work, he took the knife and headed for Ms Ye's workplace.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Dora Tay told the court: "He felt that he was prepared to kill her and then die himself when he is punished by the law subsequently."

After spotting Ms Ye, Chen began arguing with her, but the victim refused his demands and tried to walk away.

Chen took out his knife, pulled the victim towards him and stabbed her from the front. He then hugged her and stabbed her neck and back.

While doing so, he bit off part of her earlobe and spat out the torn flesh. After he saw the victim bleeding, Chen threw his knife into the nearby bushes and called the police.

The torn flesh was later surgically reattached. Ms Ye was warded for seven days, and given 14 days' hospitalisation leave on discharge.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2021, with the headline 'Prison for man who stabbed girlfriend, bit off her earlobe'. Subscribe