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DPP: Accused prepared knives to confront boss over passport

DPP: Accused prepared knives to confront boss over passport

Source: Straits Times
Article Date: 09 Oct 2020
Author: Selina Lum

He said it shows her intention to kill; victim stabbed over 90 times.

A domestic worker who wanted to get her passport back from her employer geared up for the confrontation by sharpening one knife and hiding a second, smaller knife in a basket under the sink of a toilet on the second floor of the house, the prosecution said.

Indonesian maid Daryati ultimately took along another weapon - a long knife from the storeroom - when she confronted Madam Seow Kim Choo, 59, at her Telok Kurau house on June 7, 2016.

When Madam Seow put up resistance, she was slit and stabbed in the neck. As she lay bleeding on the toilet floor, Daryati retrieved the knife she had earlier hidden, and continued stabbing her employer, the court heard.

The details of Daryati's preparation and her "cruel" attack on Madam Seow were recounted by Deputy Public Prosecutor Wong Kok Weng in the ongoing murder trial yesterday, as he contended she had intended to kill her employer.

Daryati, whose documented age is 28 but who claims she is two years younger, inflicted over 90 stab wounds on Madam Seow, using so much force that at least three of the blows caused fractures to her face.

"Because of your selfish intention to take your passport and take money from (your employer), you stabbed her so viciously on her face and neck so many times that she bled to death," said the DPP.

Daryati replied: "Initially I wanted to get my passport back but I could not control my anger. I could not control my hands which stabbed Madam."

The DPP contended Daryati had control over her actions and was not suffering from any mental condition that substantially impaired her responsibility for her actions.

Daryati disagreed, saying through an interpreter: "I was in a very angry state. I was very emotional and I could not control my hands."

The DPP also took Daryati through her police statements to show that she was prepared to kill Madam Seow.

She had said in one statement: "If she refused to give me my passport, I would have killed her."

Daryati initially faced the mandatory death penalty for murder.

In April, after 17 days of trial, she admitted to a lesser murder charge, which carries life imprisonment or the death sentence, but prosecutors said they were not pressing for capital punishment.

In a twist last month, she withdrew her guilty plea in the hope of getting a lower sentence by calling defence psychiatrist Tommy Tan to testify that she was suffering from a mental condition that diminished her responsibility for her actions.

Dr Tan and the prosecution psychiatrist, Dr Jaydip Sarkar, are expected to testify when the trial continues next year.

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

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