SINGAPORE — An undergraduate dental student at the National University of Singapore was sentenced to a short detention order of 12 days on Friday (17 July) after he strangled and thumbed the eye of an ex-girlfriend who wanted to break up with him.
Yin Zi Qin, 23, then in his second year of the dental course, had accessed her house with a card and later climbed through a window to her bedroom.
He pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to the 21-year-old woman with one count of unlawfully remaining in her house to annoy her taken into consideration for sentencing. A short detention order means that Yin will not have a criminal record upon his release.
The victim, also a university student, had been with Yin for two years before breaking up with him on 9 May last year over WhatsApp.
That night, Yin entered her house with an access card the victim had earlier passed to him. He then told the woman that he was at her house and wanted to talk to her before they broke up.
The victim, then out with her friends, rushed home to meet him. The pair met at the basement of her house before climbing into her bedroom via a window from an adjacent showroom unit. The woman’s family members were unaware of their presence.
At the room, Yin gave the victim roses, begged for her forgiveness, and pleaded with her not to end the relationship. When the victim declined his request, Yin banged his head against the wall and remained silent for a while.
As they resumed talking, Yin began strangling the woman’s neck. She screamed and struggled, causing Yin to release her but press his thumb against her left eye. Her eye bled from the incident.
The woman lost consciousness momentarily and found herself on the floor when she woke up. Yin apologised to her and the woman told him to leave. Yin then climbed out of her bedroom into the showroom unit.
Meanwhile, the woman’s mother heard the commotion and approached her daughter to ask who had hit her. Hearing the exchange, Yin returned to the bedroom to seek the forgiveness from the woman’s parents.
However, he encountered the woman’s stepfather, who pinned him to the ground. Yin asked him to call for an ambulance as the woman was injured, while the mother called the police.
The victim experienced blurry vision and pain in her eye. She also suffered abrasions over her neck, and swelling and a conjunctival infection to her eye for five months.
Apart from physical injuries, the woman has insomnia and suffers from nightmares of Yin breaking into her house.
She describes herself to be in constant paranoia about bumping into Yin at school. The family now ensures that all windows and doors are locked before heading to bed.
District Judge Marvin Bay said in an earlier hearing that Yin was not suitable for probation but that his “relative youth”, rehabilitative prospects and lack of criminal history made community-based sentences a viable option.
The judge sentenced Yin to 12 days’ short detention order, community service of 80 hours and a day reporting order for five months.
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