Elderly woman, 88, dies after snatch theft caused her to fall and hit her head

Elderly woman, 88, dies after snatch theft caused her to fall and hit her head

SINGAPORE - "Sorry auntie", he said, before snatching the purse of the elderly woman he had entered the lift with.

But 24-year-old Muhammad Fazrie Mohamad Ridzuan's action caused 88-year-old Madam Lee Ping Yeng to lose her balance and fall, hitting her head on the floor. She died in hospital three days later.

On Monday (Feb 22), he was sentenced to nine years jail and 12 strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to hurting Madam Lee, Lianhe Wanbao reported.

The incident had occurred on April 12, 2014 at Block 115 Teck Whye Lane.

Muhammad Fazrie, who was unemployed, had noticed Madam Lee at a nearby coffee shop. He had wanted to buy a meal for his girlfriend and her daughter, but only had $1.80 on him.

He followed her back to her block and entered the elevator with her. Once in the lift, he pressed the button for the 9th floor, before politely greeting and smiling at Madam Lee.

When the lift reached the 9th floor, Muhammad Fazrie suddenly uttered "sorry auntie" beore snatching her purse.

He then ran out of the lift and took out money amounting to $22 before disposing of the purse at a rubbish bin at the ground floor of the block, the Chinese evening daily reported.

He then handed the money to his girlfriend, who spent it on cigarettes and drinks. According to Wanbao, he told his girlfriend that the money was from a purse he had found in the coffee shop.

Following the incident, Muhammad Fazrie, his girlfriend and her daughter all moved to stay at a friend's home in Jurong East.

However, the entire incident was caught by the lift's surveillance camera, and he was arrested by police 16 days after the robbery.

During the trial, two other charges of stealing and possessing a knuckle duster were also taken into consideration against Muhammad Fazrie.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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