Man, 93, sentenced to 6 months' jail for beating shelter home roommate with walking stick

SINGAPORE – A 93-year-old man beat up his roommate at a shelter home with a walking stick after the two got into a dispute over turning off the lights in their unit.

On Friday (May 28), Sim Hwa was sentenced to six months’ jail after he pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt to Mr Oh Chye Thiam, 85, at the home in Bukit Merah.

This is the second time that Sim has been convicted for assaulting a roommate following a dispute over lights.

The court heard that Sim has liver cancer, but wished to be sentenced on Friday instead of waiting for a medical report to be made.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Daniel Ling said that the latest incident happened on Oct 17 last year at 11pm, when Mr Oh was sleeping in the unit and Sim turned on the lights.

The victim told Sim that he wanted to sleep and turned the lights off but Sim turned them on again.

Mr Oh repeated that he wished to sleep and told Sim not to turn on the lights but Sim got angry, picked up his walking stick and hit Mr Oh, who was lying in his bed, multiple times.

He tried to get up from his bed but was unable to do so and fell onto the floor, as Sim continued to hit him with the walking stick.

In total, Sim hit him more than 10 times with the walking stick, noted the prosecution.

Mr Oh called for help and a nurse separated the pair and called for an ambulance.

The attack left him with multiple injuries, including a fracture in his left hand and swelling in his left ankle. He had to be hospitalised for 27 days.

Sim’s previous conviction involved another roommate at a different home.

The court heard that in May 2017, Sim was sentenced to 18 months’ jail for splashing hot water on his roommate and slashing him with a knife.

DPP Ling noted the similarity in the cases and urged the court for a higher sentence than before.

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Sim, who was unrepresented, promised not to fight with others in the future and said that he wished to return to the shelter home.

For voluntarily causing hurt, Sim could have been jailed for up to three years, fined up to $5,000, or both.

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