An elderly man who slashed his son with a chopper multiple times in March this year was sentenced to three years and six months’ jail on Tuesday (3 July).
Weng Kim Song, 74, pleaded guilty in the State Courts to one charge of using a weapon to cause grievous hurt to his 33-year-old son, Yuan Pei Sheng Benson.
Another offence of using a weapon to cause hurt to his son’s girlfriend in the same attack was taken into consideration.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Houston Johannus told the court that the father and son had an “acrimonious” relationship. They lived together and often argued over Yuan’s “aggressive and rude behaviour” as well as his use of illegal drugs, said the prosecutor.
At about 3pm on 25 March, Weng rang his 70-year-old wife, Ho Bee Choo, on her phone but their son picked it up instead. Yuan was rude during the call and another argument began between the two.
Weng was still upset when he reached the family’s sixth-floor Commonwealth Close flat at about 8.35pm. Yuan was asleep in his room with his girlfriend at the time and had left the room’s door ajar.
Weng then took a chopper with a 22 cm blade from the kitchen, tucked it in the back of his pants, and entered his son’s room to demand an apology. At that point, Weng’s intention was to “slash the victim (Yuan) if he did not apologise”, said Johannus.
Yuan woke up when Weng entered but instead of apologising, another quarrel ensued. Weng then started slashing his son on the head, back, arms and legs. Yuan’s girlfriend tried to stop the attack by throwing a bolster but Weng attacked her as well.
The screams woke up Ho, who had been sleeping in another room. When she saw the attack, she grabbed the chopper from Weng and threw it out of the window.
A passer-by called the police when he saw Weng retrieving the chopper from the ground floor and heard screams from above. Weng surrendered to the police upon their arrival, while Yuan and his girlfriend were taken to the National University Hospital (NUH).
Yuan was found to have sustained multiple cuts, including some “deep wounds” to his arms which measured up to 6cm and exposed muscles. He also sustained fractures on his wrist and forearm.
The extent of his girlfriend’s injuries was not raised in court.
DPP Johannus asked for four years’ jail for Weng, citing a psychiatric report which stated that Weng “was remorseful that he won’t be able to take care of his wife, but did not express regret” over the attack itself. Weng does not suffer from any mental disorders.
While Weng cannot be caned as he is over the age of 50, the prosecutor did not ask for any additional jail time in lieu of caning.
In mitigation, defense lawyer Sim Cher Kwang said that his client’s son was “no angel”.
Weng had “tried his best to be a good father” and “has been living in fear and tension all these years”, said Sim, who added that Yuan had forgiven his father for the attack. Sim asked for three years’ jail for Weng.
DPP Johannus, however, rebutted that regardless of Yuan’s behaviour, the potentially fatal attack was still unjustified. “(At) 74-years-old he should have known better,” said the prosecutor, referring to Weng.
District Judge Kessler Soh noted that the case was a “difficult” one.
Addressing Weng, Soh said, “None of us will know what went through your head when you did this to your son… but (you) must bear the consequences.”
For causing grievous hurt with a weapon, Weng faced up to life imprisonment, and a fine or caning.
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