Fatal stabbing: NSF pleads guilty

Fatal stabbing: NSF pleads guilty
Soh (second from right) will not face the death penalty after pleading guilty. -ST

SINGAPORE - With a knife in his pocket, full-time national serviceman Soh Wee Kian loitered around public estates looking for women with long hair and in short skirts.

Then he fantasised about kissing them, touching their breasts and stabbing them in the back.

In a nine-month span of terror in 2010, the 23-year-old knifed four women, killing a mother of two. On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to culpable homicide for the fatal stabbing of 32-year-old Madam Hoe Hong Lin in Woodlands.

He originally faced the gallows for murder.

But after representations from his lawyers, the charge was reduced to culpable homicide, which can lead to a life sentence on condition that he plead guilty.

He also admitted to one count of causing grievous hurt with a weapon in stabbing Madam How Poh Ling, 28, in Sembawang. Two charges for slashing two other women will be taken into account during sentencing, expected on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Soh sat expressionless in the dock as the prosecution read out the harrowing statement of facts detailing how he attacked Madam How, and four months later, Madam Hoe.

At 7am on May 26, 2010, Soh left his Woodlands flat for Sembawang, where he wandered around with an army-issued black leather glove and a knife. He trailed various women, including schoolgirls. As he followed them, Soh fantasised about stabbing and touching them.

At 8.30am, he saw Madam How, who was on her way to work, coming out of a lift. He followed her and stabbed her in the back. She fell, screaming for help, and used her handbag to protect her face and chest. By the time she realised the attack had stopped, Soh had run away.

A passer-by helped her to a clinic to wait for the police and ambulance. She spent a week in hospital.

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