A 25-year-old woman who stabbed her former girlfriend after the latter refused to get back into a relationship with her, then turned the knife on herself, was yesterday jailed for four years.
Giselle Shi Jia Wei, whose eyes were filled with tears throughout the court session, had pleaded guilty last week to attempted culpable homicide by stabbing Ms Ummul Qurratu 'Ain Abdul Rahman, 22, twice in the chest in a Geylang hotel room in July 2012. A charge of attempted suicide was also taken into consideration.
The courtroom was packed with Shi's friends and family, including her parents, who declined to comment after the verdict. The victim was not present but told the court in a statement she was "angry" and "disappointed" with her former lover.
In passing sentence, Justice Choo Han Teck said that a long jail term would not serve much public interest and that Shi's sentence should "lean towards rehabilitation".
Prosecutors had sought five years' jail for Shi, arguing that her premeditated actions had caused physical and psychological harm to the victim.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sellakumaran pointed out that Shi had bought a knife which she kept in her bag before she went to meet her former lover. He also read out parts of the victim's statement on how the attack has impacted her.
"Even now, I am angry with Giselle and what she had done to me. I was disappointed with her. Having to go through the court trial, it was very stressful and I feel that I was the offender instead of Giselle," said Ms Qurratu 'Ain.
The victim said she now buttons her shirts to the top to hide the 21cm scar on her chest and suffers from nightmares and flashbacks.
But Shi's lawyer, Mr Daniel Atticus Xu, painted the attack as a crime of passion and contended that his client was depressed at the time.
Mr Xu produced letters from Shi's friends vouching for her character and asked for a report to determine if she was suitable for probation. He added that Shi's family has offered to pay the victim's outstanding medical bills of about $6,000.
The court had heard earlier that the pair's romantic relationship, which started in July 2011, was fraught with quarrels due to Shi's possessiveness.
Following a spat on July 14, 2012, Shi told Ms Qurratu 'Ain she wanted to end their relationship.
Three days later, the pair spent the night at a Geylang hotel where Shi tried to patch things up but to no avail. On July 22, the pair checked into the hotel again, with Shi carrying the knife in her bag.
While the victim was lying naked in bed, Shi asked to start afresh. When she rejected her, Shi stabbed her before stabbing her own chest. The victim tried repeatedly to leave the room but was foiled by Shi each time. Eventually, she escaped and sought help from a couple, who called the police.
Shi initially claimed trial to attempted murder but following representations from her lawyers, the charge was amended to a lesser one of attempted culpable homicide, which carries a maximum jail term of 15 years.
This article was first published on Oct 11, 2014.
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