Jailed 15 weeks for stabbing stranger

SINGAPORE - Three days before he was to receive punishment for stabbing a stranger, an odd-job worker suffered a brain haemorrhage that left him in a wheelchair.

Goh Kheng Seng, who turns 67 today, was meant to be sentenced on Jan 8 this year but his condition meant the date had to be postponed.

Yesterday, he was sentenced to 15 weeks in jail after pleading guilty to stabbing Mr See Chong Yin, 68, with a pair of scissors on Oct 14 last year.

This means he will be released almost immediately, since the court also ordered that the term be backdated to Oct 21, when he was first remanded.

The prosecution had earlier sought more than four months' jail for Goh in view of an earlier offence, which saw him jailed for four months in June 2003.

But Community Court Judge Mathew Joseph took Goh's advanced age and frail state into account before passing sentence.

Just before attacking his victim at the coffee shop in Block 74, Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, Goh had been taunting passers-by, swearing at them and challenging them to fights. He suddenly swore at Mr See, then punched and stabbed him repeatedly. Mr See suffered three cuts to his neck and was hospitalised.

The Institute of Mental Health diagnosed Goh with schizophrenia, but stated that he was of sound mind when he stabbed Mr See. He could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

This article was first published on February 13, 2015.
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