Daughter admits threatening to kill mother with knife

Daughter admits threatening to kill mother with knife
Subashini Jeyabal (left), had put a knife to her mother's throat and said in Tamil: "I will kill you. I will cut you." Her mum, Madam Amutha (right), had gone to court in 2006 claiming she was the victim of a botched exorcism.

The daughter of the woman who unsuccessfully sued the Novena Church for what she said was a botched exorcism was on Monday placed on a three-month day reporting order for criminal intimidation.

Subashini Jeyabal, 28, was handed the community-based sentence after she admitted to placing a knife against the neck of her mother, Madam Amutha Valli Krishnan, 57, and saying in Tamil, "I will kill you. I will cut you", with intent to cause her alarm, on June 29 last year.

The day reporting order requires the offender to report regularly to a reporting centre managed by the Singapore prisons, undergo programmes and be electronically tagged, where necessary, for up to 12 months.

She was also ordered to perform 150 hours of community service for 12 months and remain indoors from 11.30pm to 7.30am.

A Community Court heard that, during a dispute between mother and daughter, Subashini ran into the kitchen and took a knife from a drawer.

She went back into the living room and placed the 27cm-long knife on her mother's neck before threatening to kill her.

A family friend, who was also in the flat, intervened and managed to take the knife away. Two other charges of kicking her mother on the stomach and slapping her 62-year-old father Suppiah Jeyabal three times were also taken into consideration.

Subashini's lawyer Louis Joseph said his client, an education therapist and a science graduate from the University of Western Australia, was truly remorseful for her actions.

She is under the care of consultant psychiatrist Lim Yun Chin, who said she had always shared a "tenuous relationship" with her mother.

The mother was under the influence of alcohol on the day of the incident, said Dr Lim. Madam Amutha was also found to be constantly provocative, making wild unfounded allegations about Subashini's character, added Dr Lim.

Subashini has since moved out of the family flat.

Her mother, a former national race walker, sued the Novena Church, two Catholic priests and six churchgoers in 2006.

She claimed that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after they forcibly tried to exorcise her in August 2004.

She also claimed that, after she fainted at the church, the defendants took her to a room where, for 2½ hours, she was harassed, restrained, assaulted and strangled.

During the 32-day trial, witnesses said they saw Madam Amutha crawl, march and speak in a gruff voice as she took on the personalities of a snake spirit, a dead soldier and Lucifer.

The private tutor lost the case in February 2009 and was made a bankrupt in March 2010 after she failed to pay $373,000 in legal costs to the defendants.

The maximum penalty for criminal intimidation is two years' jail and a fine.

elena@sph.com.sg


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