SINGAPORE - A woman who beat up her elderly neighbour and assaulted police officers between 2013 and January this year was sentenced to corrective training of 5½ years on Tuesday (Aug 16).
This refers to a prison regime for repeat offenders that can last between five and 14 years without offering one-third remission for good behaviour or back-dating to her date of remand.
Casey Sabrina Ng pleaded guilty to 11 charges including voluntarily causing hurt, voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant, disorderly behaviour and criminal intimidation last month. 14 other charges for similar offences were taken into consideration in sentencing.
The 43-year-old's September 2013 attack on housewife Madam Toh Siew Hong, now 67, lasted 18 minutes and was previously described as "vicious and uncalled for" by the prosecution.
The assault, caught on a security camera outside Madam Toh's HDB unit in Chai Chee, saw the older woman being dragged across the lift lobby floor by her hair and repeatedly stomped on in the head. At one point, Ng threw an aluminium incense burner at her victim's body as well.
Madam Toh was taken to Changi General Hospital and Ng was arrested on the same day, but subsequently absconded from court and re-offended while on bail. Her later offences included kicking a pregnant woman's abdomen last year.
Ng, who is also known as Asha Verma, had a neutral expression when her sentence was read to her. She appeared in court donning a white T-shirt.
District Judge Mathew Joseph called the 18-minute video of Ng and Madam Toh, which was played in full in court previously, an "astonishing visual account of the senseless violence" she inflicted on the elderly woman.
He added: "It must have been heart-wrenching and deeply painful for all in the courtroom that day to even watch such pitiful violence being displayed."
"Yet, you were unshaken by your own vile acts of violence and you remained emotionless and unmoved while standing in the dock as I believe you are in this present moment," he said.
In sentencing, he referred to Ng's psychologist report noting that she had a risk of imminent violence "which can occur in day-to-day interaction with members of the public which she perceives to be disrespectful or threatening".
He called this "both disturbing and alarming," as it reveals Ng's "volatile nature and the threat (she poses) to others."
He added that a deterrent sentence needs to be imposed to signal to Ng and the public that gratuitous violence in any form, especially when inflicted on the vulnerable, has no place in society.
In mitigation, Ng's lawyer Foo Juyuan noted that there had been improvement in his client's behaviour in various Institute of Mental Health reports.
He added that Ng was prepared to be rehabilitated not "only for her own sake but also for three grandchildren's sake."
Dr Jaydip Sarkar of the IMH had said previously in a report that Ng has a "severe personality disorder", which consists of antisocial, borderline and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders.
She also has strong traits of narcissistic personality disorder, according to the report.