A brothel operator, who had bludgeoned a pimp to death with a dumbbell rod in 2014, was sentenced to hang by the High Court on Wednesday (May 31).
Convinced that William Tiah Hung Wai had stolen S$6,500 from him while he was sleeping the previous night, at 11am on Jan 14, 2014, Chan Lie San, 53, had called Tiah – who belonged to the same secret society – for a meeting at a brothel which Chan operates at Lorong 18 Geylang.
There, Chan had struck the pimp on the head numerous times with a 40cm-long, 1.46kg metal rod between 11am and 2.30pm.
Tiah, who was then 35, died from his injuries in hospital a week later, just before he turned 36.
During the 12-day trial, the prosecution argued that given the brutal nature of Chan's actions, his intention was to kill Tiah.
Meanwhile, the defence noted that Chan was intoxicated during the time of the attack and had struck only two blows to Tiah's head.
In sentencing Chan, Judicial Commissioner Hoo Sheau Peng said she did not accept Chan's account that he had delivered two blows to Tiah's head, adding that based on the head injuries suffered by the deceased and the blood stains found at the scene, Chan would have had hit him at least nine times.
Tiah had suffered multiple cuts on his head and numerous skull fractures. At the scene of incident, blood was found on the floor, wall, ceiling and a dish rack on a dining table in the living room. More stains were also found on the floor, walls and bed in one of the brothel’s rooms.
Dismissing the argument that Chan's actions were accidental, JC Hoo noted that he had the "intention to kill" as the nature of attack was "vicious" and "one-sided", considering that Tiah was of smaller build and was unarmed.
Chan, added JC Hoo, had remarked in front of an eyewitness that he would hit Tiah until he was dead, and if he did not die from the blows, he would break his limbs.
Chan also failed to prove his argument that he was intoxicated at the time of attack. "The accused's story of consumption of sleeping pills and cough syrup prior to the offence changed over time and could not be believed," said JC Hoo.