On Tuesday (23 March), a man pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon.
He had slashed a woman with a kitchen knife before proceeding to slash himself.
He has been in remand since the incident and will return to court on 5 April 2021.
Man With Psychotic Disorder to be Sentenced for Slashing Female Passerby With Knife; Still Poses a “Significant Risk”
On 29 September 2020, Neo Hong Wei, 23, felt very stressed and began to think of committing a bad act.
He thought that he might be able to make himself feel better by committing a crime.
He obtained a kitchen knife with a 17cm-long blade from his kitchen and set off. He encountered the victim, Ms Ong Hui Xian, 27, at an open-air car park near Block 412 Chua Chu Kang Avenue 3.
She had been on her way to Lot One Shoppers’ Mall when Neo approached her with his knife.
Ms Ong ran away but was chased by Neo. She tripped and fell, and he took the opportunity to swing his knife at her head and body repeatedly.
He slashed her while she attempted to protect herself and block the blows.
A while later, she managed to get up from the ground and ran away screaming for help. Neo continued to chase after her.
A police officer, Third Sergeant Ezekiel Letchumanan K Saminadan, who was off-duty during the time of incident, heard her screams and saw Neo pursuing her. He rushed downstairs from his home immediately.
Another passer-by entered the car park and witnessed the scene. He rolled down his car window and told Neo to drop the knife.
The police officer borrowed a hoe from a construction site nearby and approached Neo. He told Neo that he was a police officer and commanded him to put his weapon down; he also asked the car driver to translate his words into Mandarin.
He urged nearby passers-by to call the police.
Neo resisted, shouting “Why?” when asked to drop his weapon. He proceeded to slash his forearm with his knife and sustained two superficial cuts.
The police officer grabbed Neo’s wrist and with help from others, succeeded in subduing him. They took his knife away from him and tied him up with a rope.
More police officers arrived and he was arrested.
Ms Ong, who had sustained multiple cuts and abrasions to her body and scalp, was sent to National University Hospital (NUH).
According to police officers at the scene, the attack left her with dried blood all over her face and she was in visible distress.
Thankfully, she was discharged in stable condition. However, her injuries left her unable to walk for around two weeks after the incident.
Ms Ong was also given an appointment with a medical social worker to watch out for any symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Man May Still Pose Danger to Others
Neo had not been taking his medication for psychotic disorder for three days before the incident.
In a report by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), Dr Stephen Pang said that Neo was unlikely to comply with prescribed psychiatric treatment on his own.
Dr Pang also noted that Neo still poses a danger towards others.
District Judge May Mesenas requested that Neo undergo another medical examination to better understand his condition and find out if it had contributed to his offences.
According to Neo’s lawyers, Mr Josephus Tan and Mr Cory Wong from Invictus Law Corporation, Neo was remanded with the rest of the patients and was not in isolation when they visited him in Changi prison, hence they expressed concern over “the current validity of the (IMH) report”.
However, neither the prosecution nor the defence made submissions on sentencing with this in consideration.
Neo could face up to seven years’ imprisonment, a fine, caning, or any combination of the three.
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