SINGAPORE — When his elderly mother refused to reveal her ATM personal identification number (PIN) to him, a 56-year-old man assaulted her with her own walking stick, and kicked, stamped on and pulled her hair.
Adrian Yap Yin Leung, 56, also threatened to cut off her fingers with a knife.
Weakened by the barrage of blows, the 77-year-old woman – who was later found with rib fractures – relented and revealed her PIN, and Yap then withdrew $2,000 from her bank account.
Yap was jailed five years and three months on Thursday (14 January) after he pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to the victim in order to commit theft and one count of failing to report to Tanglin Police Station for bail.
One count of possessing a false passport was taken into consideration for sentencing.
Yap, a Singaporean, was at his mother’s flat on 16 October 2018 at about 11pm when he asked her for her PIN, intending to withdraw money for his own use.
When the woman refused to reveal her PIN, the enraged man hit her with her quad walking stick multiple times, kicked her and pulled her hair. The blows only came to an end when the mother revealed her PIN.
By then, the woman was in great pain and unable to call for police assistance. She lay in her room to rest.
Yap left the unit at around 3am the next day to withdraw $2,000 in cash from his mother’s account, using her card which he had taken from her wallet without her consent.
Sought help from neighbours
Two hours after her son left the unit, the elderly woman crawled out of her bed and sought help from her neighbours, after noticing that her son had left. The neighbours called the police after noticing the injuries on her face.
The victim was conveyed to the hospital where she was found with bruises on her limbs, chest and face. She also sustained multiple fractures to her ribs.
She was warded in the hospital for 36 days for pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and given hospitalisation leave for another 66 days.
“After the incident, the victim became fearful of going out of the house alone, feeling afraid that she would get beaten up if she goes out. She also had recurrent thoughts of the assault,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Woon Yee.
While the woman was in the hospital, Yap returned her ATM card to her wallet, which was in the flat.
He was arrested on 26 October 2018 for the offence and released on personal bond the next day. As part of the bail conditions, he was required to report to Tanglin Police Station on 9 November 2018. However, he failed to show up.
A police gazette was issued for his arrest for failing to report to the police station. He was arrested some nine months later on 5 August 2019.
Yap’s lawyers, Ng Shi Yang and Ng Pei Qi from the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme Fellowship, said that their client had opted not to claim trial, which demonstrated a certain degree of remorse.
The lawyers pointed out that Yap did not have any past offences involving violence. He was jailed in 2003 for criminal breach of trust and for forging a valuable security or will.
As to Yap failing to show up for his investigation, it was “borne out of a one-off moment of negligence, as opposed to malice or wilfulness”, said the lawyers.
DPP Lim sought a sentence of five years and three months, noting that the extent of the victim’s injuries was an aggravating factor.
“He viciously assaulted his own mother who was aged, frail and unable to retaliate. He used a weapon in assaulting (the) victim as well… The victim is traumatised by incident. She became afraid of going out of house alone, feared she would get beaten up, and has recurrent thoughts of assault,” said DPP Lim.
Voluntarily causing hurt to commit theft carries a jail term of between five to 20 years, with a minimum of 12 strokes of the cane.
Yap cannot be caned as he is over 50 years old.
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