18 months' jail for man who fled after stabbing colleague

A man who went on the run for eight years after stabbing a colleague was jailed for 18 months yesterday.

In 2006, Charles Isaac Santhianathan Olganathan, a 39-year-old security guard, was unhappy with a colleague for speaking about him behind his back.

On June 7 that year, he came to blows with the colleague and ended up stabbing him three times in the back with a knife.

The victim, Mr Rajan Arumugam, then 38, required surgery for multiple injuries.

Charles Isaac Santhianathan fled to Malaysia and remained at large until he was arrested at Kuching International Airport on May 28 this year. He was later extradited to Singapore.

Yesterday, the Malaysian, now 47, was sentenced after pleading guilty to voluntarily causing hurt to his colleague, in what District Judge Victor Yeo called a "wholly disproportionate" act.

The court heard that on June 7, 2006, he had confronted Mr Rajan at their workplace at an international school along Bukit Tinggi Road, for speaking about him behind his back to his wife and supervisor.

During the fistfight that followed, Charles Isaac Santhianathan fell backwards onto a table after a punch by Mr Rajan, a fellow Malaysian. Charles Isaac Santhianathan picked up a knife with a 15cm-blade, which was on the table, and committed the offence after Mr Rajan ignored his threats and tried to walk away.

Court documents did not specify how the knife came to be on the table.

Calling for a jail term at the upper end of the 12 to 18-month range, Deputy Public Prosecutor Daphne Lim pointed out how the accused had remained at large for eight years in a bid to escape punishment.

Resources had to be expended to find and arrest him, and his failure to turn himself in showed a lack of remorse, said Ms Lim. He had also caused serious injuries to his victim.

In mitigation, defence lawyer Pratap Kishan said his client was the sole breadwinner in a family with four school-going children, two of whom have special needs.

He acknowledged his client had overreacted, but urged the court to consider that there had been a scuffle before the offence was committed. Charles Isaac Santhianathan could have been jailed for up to five years, caned, and fined.


This article was first published on Oct 30, 2014.
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