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Construction worker sentenced to jail, caning for slashing roommate in Singapore

The court heard that Arunachalam returned to his dormitory at Old Choa Chu Kang Road around midnight on March 21 this year after a night of drinking, and vomited on the floor. — TODAY file picThe court heard that Arunachalam returned to his dormitory at Old Choa Chu Kang Road around midnight on March 21 this year after a night of drinking, and vomited on the floor. — TODAY file picSINGAPORE, Dec 7 — A construction worker who slashed his dormitory roommate on his neck and chest with a chopper has been jailed for 42 months and ordered to be given six strokes of the cane.

Indian national Arunachalam Manikandan, 20, was sentenced yesterday after he admitted to one count of causing grievous hurt with a dangerous weapon. He could have been given a life sentence, or a jail term of up to 15 years, with fine or caning.

The court heard that Arunachalam returned to his dormitory at Old Choa Chu Kang Road around midnight on March 21 this year after a night of drinking, and vomited on the floor.

His roommate, Ganesan Arunprakash, 21, asked him to clean up the mess. But Arunachalam refused, and an argument ensued.

Their supervisor later ordered Arunachalam to clean up the mess.

When he returned to bed later, Arunachalam seethed with anger at his roommate’s behaviour and decided to attack him with a 30cm-long chopper.

“Without warning, (he) aimed for the victim’s neck and began slashing and chopping him continuously with the chopper,” deputy public prosecutor Jason Nim told the court.

The other workers in the dormitory intervened and stopped the assault after they were awoken by Ganesan, who screamed in pain.

He suffered multiple wounds which required surgery, including a cut on his neck that measured 11cm long and 4cm wide.

Nim, noting that Ganesan’s life had been endangered by the attack, called for a jail sentence of at least four years, with at least six strokes of the cane.

“Without surgical intervention, the victim would have had bled severely and would have died,” he told the court, describing the attack as “vicious and reprehensible”.

Defence lawyer Sujatha Selvakumar told the court that her client was still young, and asked for a jail sentence of not more than two-and-a-half years.

In sentencing Arunachalam, District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim said she took into account the offender’s young age, adding that she was “prepared to cut (him) … some slack”. TODAY

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