SINGAPORE — A woman who slashed a married ex-lover for not going to China with her was sentenced to four months’ jail on Wednesday (13 November).
Jamie Chen Xin Yi was 21 years old when she slashed Randy Lee Teck Choon, 42, on 17 September 2017, causing him to sustain a 22cm laceration on his chest.
Lee, who was married with two children, required 29 stitches for his wound.
On Wednesday, District Judge Jasvender Kaur rejected Chen’s request for probation, pointing out that Chen was already 21 years old at the time of the offences.
The judge was also “not satisfied” that the conditions were met even though a probation officer concluded in a report that Chen was suitable for the sentencing option. A probation is typically given to suitable offenders under the age of 21.
Chen, who appeared in court alone and unrepresented, said she will be appealing her conviction.
The now 23-year-old claimed trial over the single charge of causing hurt to Lee by slashing him with a penknife, which she had with her on the day of the incident.
Accused pestered wife to divorce her lover
During the trial, it emerged that the pair had met after Chen began working in Lee’s company as a part-time flyer distributor. She later left the company to start her own business involving corporate gifts.
After the two started having an affair some time between 2015 and 2016, Chen began calling Lee’s wife, pestering her to divorce Lee, according to the prosecution. Chen also asked Lee to go house-visiting with her during Chinese New Year in 2017 but Lee declined as he was married.
The relationship ended in February 2017 but the two still kept in contact, according to Lee.
Months before the slashing incident, Chen indicated that she wanted to go to China for business and insisted that Lee accompany her. Lee declined as he was having marital problems and faced ongoing bankruptcy proceedings.
Chen went ahead to book flight tickets and accommodation, and later insisted that Lee pay for her. But Lee was unable to do so.
On 17 September 2017, a day before Chen left for China, the pair met up, with Chen trying to persuade Lee not to break up with her. Lee still refused to go to China with her. As Lee was sending Chen back home in his car, the woman took out a penknife and scratched the car window. She also slapped Lee a few times while he was driving.
After they both alighted from the car near a chute at Block 759 Woodlands Avenue 6, the pair quarrelled so loudly that passersby could hear from the third level of the block.
Chen then slashed Lee on the chest with her penknife.
Lee sought treatment and incurred a medical bill of $120, which his ex-wife paid. Chen has since compensated him.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Delicia Tan cited a probation suitability report, which stated that Chen’s prospect for rehabilitation was low.
“Even the accused’s parents have no confidence in the accused and the fact that they refused to sign the bond speaks volumes,” said DPP Tan. Chen had refused to ask her parents to sign the bond, showing that she was stubborn and resistant to rehabilitation, said the prosecutor.
Tan told the court that Chen’s parents are helpless about their daughter’s poor attitude.
“The accused has no familial support to help with rehabilitation. It is troubling that from April 2019, as noted from the report, the accused has not even spoken to any of her family members that she lived with in the same house,” she said.
Urging the court to jail Chen six months, DPP Tan said the offence was committed “brazenly in public, in broad daylight without regard for public peace and without (Chen) caring that there were people nearby”.
Accused tearful in court
Chen told the court tearfully that the prosecution’s argument in the case was “brand new”.
“Everything the prosecution said is a bit shocking. I mentioned it before that I did not force him to go on a trip with me. We went down to Peoples’ Park Centre and we paid for tickets together. If he didn’t want to, he would have stopped me there and then,” she said.
Regarding her parents, Chen claimed that they didn’t want to sign the bond as both were divorced and still fighting with each other.
On the probation report, Chen said, “If my attitude was poor why would (the probation officer) have recommended me for probation?”
However the prosecution pointed out that Chen was “forcefully doing things her own way”, paying for the tickets through an AXS machine while Lee, who was standing by the side, had no idea what was going on.
For causing hurt with a weapon, Chen could have been jailed up to seven years, or fined or any combination of the punishments. She cannot be caned as she is a woman.
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