'Highly volatile' man stabs godfather in the face

SINGAPORE - A man, who was sent to prison twice for attacking his mother, was yesterday sentenced to five years of corrective training after stabbing his 53-year-old godfather in the face.

Koh Kim Swee, 27, who suffers from an anti-social personality disorder, will not get any remission for good behaviour.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz, who urged the court to send him for corrective training because of his violent past, cited an Institute of Mental Heath's report which found him "a highly volatile and dangerous individual".

The report by Dr Stephen Phang also said Koh had "every potential to represent a continued danger, menace and risk to society".

In 2008, Koh was jailed for 15 months for hitting his mother on the head with a hammer. Two years later, he was imprisoned for 21/2 years and caned six times for slashing her with a knife.

It was during his second jail term when he met Mr Charles Chia Cheng Soon, who was serving six months for theft and possession of a dangerous weapon.

The older man adopted Koh as his godson, and the duo, both odd-job workers, lived together after being released in February last year. Both men were sharing a room at Super 8 Hotel in Geylang, when on March 21, Mr Chia returned at 11pm with a knife he bought to scare people who owed him money.

Mr Chia assured his godson that he would not hurt him but Koh tried to wrestle the knife away, suffering cuts on the nose and hand. He left the room and called the police.

Before the police arrived, Koh returned to find Mr Chia lying on the bed. He picked up the knife from the table and stabbed the older man once in the left cheek, leaving a 4cm-long cut.

Pleading for leniency, defence counsel Kea Cheng Han, who represented Koh for free, said his client intends to move to Malaysia after serving his sentence to join his wife and six-year-old daughter there.

District Judge Ng Peng Hong said the offence was very serious and Koh, who pleaded guilty, could have been jailed for up to seven years and caned. He did not explain why caning was not imposed when sentencing Koh to corrective training - a tough prison regime for recalcitrant offenders.


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