Man with schizophrenia who stabbed dad acquitted

Man with schizophrenia who stabbed dad acquitted
The Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

SINGAPORE - A 26-year-old man who was mentally unsound when he stabbed his father with a pair of scissors was acquitted yesterday.

Instead, Mr Lee Jun Hong will be kept at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) to be treated.

Mr Lee, who has paranoid schizophrenia, was alone at home with his father, Mr Lee Kok Keong, 56, on Sept 24 last year when he stabbed the older man in the back.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelly Ho said in an agreed statement of facts that the duo were watching a television show about a man who had killed someone and pretended to be suffering from a psychiatric illness.

The older Mr Lee was going to the kitchen when the younger man, who had been talking to himself, dashed towards his father.

Mr Lee Jun Hong took a pair of scissors from a kitchen drawer and charged at his father, who turned and ran towards the kitchen toilet

to hide. He caught up with his father and stabbed him in the back before throwing the scissors on the floor.

He then followed his father into the toilet and punched him randomly. One of the punches landed near his father's right eye.

The older man, however, managed to push his son aside and sought refuge at their neighbour's home. The police were called.

An IMH report stated that the younger Mr Lee was of unsound mind at the time.

Therefore, he was incapable of knowing that the nature of the act was wrong or contrary to law, the DPP said.

Lawyer Favian Kang told District Judge Ng Peng Hong that the IMH was a more suitable place to confine his client than prison.

He said that when the younger Mr Lee committed the offence, he thought his father was a "devil in disguise".

While in remand, the younger man heard and saw more things and his condition worsened, said Mr Kang.

After he was sent to IMH, he was certified fit to plead seven months later.

The lawyer said his client's parents support their son's stay at IMH as it would enhance his recovery and the treatment was better than in prison.

The maximum penalty for the offence is seven years' jail, a fine, caning or any combined punishment.

This article was first published on December 10, 2014.
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