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Serial criminal who killed property agent jailed 20 years

A serial criminal who made headlines for killing a property agent in 2008 will have to spend eight more years behind bars. -ST
Selina Lim

Fri, Jan 18, 2013
The Straits Times

Rosli (left) punched Ms Choo (right) repeatedly and left her to die after an argument.

A SERIAL criminal who made headlines for killing a property agent in 2008 will have to spend eight more years behind bars.

The Court of Appeal yesterday sentenced 52-year-old Rosli Yassin to 20 years' preventive detention following an appeal by the prosecution for the maximum term.

Last May, the career criminal was jailed for 12 years after admitting to culpable homicide as well as cheating, theft, criminal breach of trust and abetting forgery.

Preventive detention is a regime for recalcitrant offenders lasting from seven to 20 years.

Calling Rosli a "menace to society", prosecutors argued yesterday that he should be "taken out of circulation for the longest time possible under the law to protect the public".

His criminal career started when he was 31. Over the next 17 years, he chalked up 19 convictions for different offences, culminating in the killing of property agent Choo Xue Ying, 46.

In October 2008, Rosli and Ms Choo, whom he claimed owed him money, were in her car near Bukit Batok Nature Park when an argument broke out. He punched her repeatedly in the head and face.

They got out of the car and when Ms Choo threatened to call the police, he snatched her phone and struck her on the head repeatedly until she fell.

He carried her to the bottom of a slope and left her to die. Her body was found four days later.

Meanwhile, Rosli and his girlfriend used Ms Choo's cheques to commit cheating. Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Teo Guan Siew pointed to a report which said Rosli had a 49 per cent to 60 per cent probability of re-offending within two years of release.

Rosli's lawyer Derek Kang argued that the maximum term is generally meted out to offenders who engage in violent crime, have a long criminal record or alcohol or drug addictions. He said Rosli did not fall into these categories.

But the three-judge appeals court increased his detention to 20 years, saying an early release would likely end up with Rosli committing more crimes.

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