SINGAPORE: An 85-year-old man accused of hacking his 79-year-old partner to death with a chopper was unable to have his guilty plea for culpable homicide go through on Friday (Sep 23), after he made numerous objections to the statement of facts.
Pak Kian Huat was originally charged with the murder of Madam Lim Soi Moy, 79, in a flat at Block 191, Lorong 4 Toa Payoh in September 2019.
A hearing was convened on Friday for Pak to plead guilty to the reduced charge of culpable homicide.
According to the statement of facts read out in court, Pak had four children with Mdm Lim after meeting her when they were both teenagers. However, they never officially married.
He is accused of hacking Mdm Lim to death with a chopper after a dispute with her over which rooms they stayed in in the flat.
Pak made numerous loud objections while the Mandarin interpreter was reading out the statement of facts to him.
He first disputed that it was not true that there was a lot of blood.
Later, when the interpreter read out the bit in the statement of facts that said 54 wounds were found on the deceased, Pak exclaimed: “I don’t admit. There aren’t so many. There weren’t so many wounds.”
At this, Justice Aedit Abdullah told him: “This is the medical officer counting the wounds. Are you saying you counted the wounds after you stabbed your ‘wife’?”
Pak replied: “How will I go and count them, but I reckon I’m not that capable.”
When asked how he knew the number of wounds inflicted was not 54, Pak laughed. “I can’t possibly have killed her so skilfully. I stopped when I saw her breathing,” he said.
The judge then told Pak, whose lawyers discharged themselves earlier that same morning, that if he did not admit the facts, he could not accept the guilty plea.
He would then have to go to trial for the original charge of murder, which is punishable with death.
Pak replied: “Fine, death penalty.”
When he objected again at another section of the statement of facts, Justice Abdullah told him in a raised voice: “I have been very patient with you. You will behave in court. You are not in a coffee shop, you are not in any other place, you are in a courtroom, you will behave with proper decorum, you understand?”
He adjourned the hearing for a decision to be made on whether the original murder charge will be restored, or if a Newton hearing has to be convened to settle the disputed information in the current plea offer.
A Newton hearing is done to settle certain issues that both defence and prosecution are unable to agree on.