NTU honours grad finally gets jail for shoplifting

By Amanda Yong

HE FOUND his patient to be a bright and promising young woman.

So when she was put on probation for shoplifting, Dr Tan Chue Tin, 61, gave her a job - to keep an eye on her and to help her stay out of trouble.

Dr Tan, who was her psychiatrist, even had one of his nurses accompany her on her trips from the MRT station near her home to his clinic at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre. That was in 2005.

Sadly, his patient Goh Lee Yin, 30, who is unemployed, re-offended. In December last year and in February, she stole a Chanel bag, a Gucci dress and an Emporio Armani sweater.

While out on bail last month, she nicked items such as women's magazines, plastic containers, shower cream, canned fruit and jelly powder.

Yesterday, she was jailed six weeks and fined $4,000 for three charges of theft in dwelling after pleading guilty in May. Another similar charge was taken into consideration during sentencing.

The sentences were backdated to her remand date of June 25.

This is the same woman who had twice escaped a jail term on appeal.

In 2005, she made legal history when then Chief Justice Yong Pung How set aside her 21/2-month jail term and placed her on probation for two years.

But she stole again - filching luxury handbags this time - while on probation in 2006.

Justice V.K. Rajah's judgment for her appeal the next year was another legal landmark. The prosecution had appealed for a longer jail term than the one day's jail and $8,000 fine ordered by the district court.

But Justice Rajah disagreed and placed her on 18 months' probation instead.

Yesterday, Dr Tan told The New Paper over the phone that Goh was "actually a wonderful person" whom he felt deserved a second chance.

"If you know her well, you'll find that she's a kind, gentle person who cares for people," he said.


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