Elderly man jailed for stabbing younger man over staring incident

Nigel Chin
PHOTO: Getty Images

They have had a spate of staring incidents since they knew each other two years ago. During one such incident last year, Pang Kok Beng, 58, slapped Yeo Hooi Huat Allan on the 66-year-old’s face.

Things came to a boil on 8 April this year when Pang confronted Yeo over another staring incident. Yeo later used a fruit knife that he had retrieved earlier to stab Pang multiple times. For that, Yeo was sentenced to three years and seven months’ jail in the State Courts on Friday (6 October). He had pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt with a weapon.

The court heard that on the day of the incident, Pang was walking to his home at Chai Chee Avenue after buying dinner when he saw Yeo staring at him at a void deck. Pang then stared back at him before going home to consume his dinner.

During this time, Yeo had gone to his letterbox to pick up a fruit knife with a 10-cm long blade. About 25 minutes later, Pang returned to the void deck, where Yeo was seated with his sister and a friend. Both Pang and Yeo stared at each other again, before Pang confronted Yeo over the incident.

Yeo stood up in front of Pang, who reacted by pushing Yeo away. It was then that Yeo pulled out the fruit knife and attempted to stab Pang. Pang tried to defend himself but was easily overwhelmed. Even as he tried running away, Yeo gave chase. Yeo then pinned Pang against the wall, and stabbed the younger man for at least one and a half minute.

The attack only ended after a witness noticed blood on Pang’s shirt and shouted at the men to stop the fight. Yeo then went home with the knife still in his possession.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Joshua Rene Jeyaraj said that a medical report from the hospital indicated that Pang suffered four stab wounds to the chest and several lacerations. He had to undergo several surgical procedures for his injuries, and was in severe bodily pain even after he was discharged from hospital.

DPP Jeyaraj also said that Pang needed about one to two months for his wounds to heal, and still feel numbness on the fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand. He needed a brace to support the fingers, and had to undergo therapy to regain full mobility.

Yeo was arrested after he called the police emergency hotline to surrender on the same day. Police officers were dispatched to his house, where the fruit knife was recovered.

DPP Jeyaraj had called for a sentence of three years and six months, and an additional three months’ imprisonment in lieu of caning, as Yeo was ineligible for caning because of his age.

Yeo’s lawyer, Doraraj Sinnappan, had called for the court to impose a sentence of less than two years so that Yeo can visit his elder sister at a nursing home sooner.

Doraraj also said Yeo did not start the confrontation and that he also felt threatened about his sister’s safety after Pang had confronted him in the presence of his sister. But DPP Jeyaraj argued that Yeo had planned to commit the offence by retrieving the fruit knife from his letterbox.

Yeo could have been sentenced to up to seven years’ jail or a fine or caning or a combination of any of the punishments.