Court dismisses appeal bid by man jailed for life

Court dismisses appeal bid by man jailed for life

A 50-year-old man, who was jailed for life nearly 10 years ago after he admitted to killing his mother, had sought to file an appeal against his conviction and sentence.

But the Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed the bid by Kuah Bin Chuan, saying that there were no exceptional circumstances for him to be granted a time extension to file an appeal beyond the normal two-week deadline.

Kuah, who has a history of mental illness, had bludgeoned Madam Neo Ah Geok, 63, to death with a table lamp at their Kensington Park Drive home in 2003. He was diagnosed as having suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and had delusions of persecution. He also felt that his family were planning to take him to the Woodbridge Hospital at the time.

In November that year, Kuah had asked Madam Neo not to take him to the mental institution but she shouted at him, telling him not to call her "mother".

He then took a table lamp from another room and repeatedly smashed it on her head until she collapsed.

On July 16, 2004, Kuah pleaded guilty in the High Court to culpable homicide and was sentenced to life in prison.

The trial judge had relied on a psychiatric report which said that Kuah was a potentially dangerous individual.

Kuah did not file any appeal by the deadline of July 30 that year.

In January this year, Kuah filed a motion, seeking permission to file an appeal out of time.

Kuah, who did not have a lawyer, said he was no longer a threat to the public as he has been rehabilitated and has realised the consequences of not taking his medication.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ong Luan Tze opposed his motion, arguing that this was not a valid ground of appeal.

She argued that Kuah was nine years and six months late in pursuing his appeal and has not offered a valid explanation for the inordinate delay.

This article was first published on May 31, 2014.
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