After years on trial, a doctor convicted of assaulting his girlfriend has finally been sentenced to jail, four strokes of the cane, and a fine of SGD4,000 (RM12,280)
According to The Straits Times, Clarence Teo Shun Jie had already been convicted in March this year for causing grievous hurt and wrongfully confining his then-girlfriend Rachel Lim En Hui in his flat in August 2017.
However, on Monday, 22 June, he pleaded guilty to two additional charges of assaulting her while they were dating in March 2017.
The court finally sentenced the 35-year-old to three years, six months, and two weeks' jail for a crime that could have had a 10-year sentence for voluntarily causing grievous hurt.
Early in the relationship, Teo, who worked as a locum - or stand-in doctor - at clinics, had already begun to assault her but was repeatedly forgiven by the victim
TODAY reported that Teo and Lim had met on the dating mobile app Coffee Meets Bagel in February 2017 and dated from then until August that year.
The first time Teo assaulted her was on 12 March when he came home "drunk, happy, and tipsy" and suddenly became violent when he brought up the topic of her past relationships.
She asked him what was wrong and was punched in the face. The blow caused her to bite down on the inside of her cheek and she began to bleed from her mouth.
She left the apartment and went home. He apologised for his behaviour and added he had anger management issues to which Lim accepted and they continued to date.
On 29 March, he again assaulted her when she told him that she wanted to break up with him
He abused her verbally over the phone but she hung up on him and ignored his subsequent calls and messages, reported CNA.
The next day as she was leaving for work, she found him waiting for her at the flats where she lived.
Teo grabbed her, dragged her to his car, and drove her to his home. She struggled and tried to press the car horn to attract the attention of passers-by but was stopped and continuously punched by Teo.
Locking her in his bedroom, he continued to hit her, pour apple juice on her, and let her sit in her wet clothes. He finally allowed her to leave after several hours when she said she needed a medical certificate to excuse her absence from work.
She immediately sought medical attention for her bruised eyes and face.
In the incident in August 2017 that led to Teo's arrest, he did not plead guilty as in the recent trial and instead claimed he blacked out from alcohol and could not recall what had happened
The violent incident led to Lim's hospitalisation of 21 days.
She testified that they both had returned to his home after dinner, drinks, and karaoke that night on 26 August.
Lim, who is currently 27-years-old, told the court that he became enraged and turned aggressive when she expressed reluctance to have sexual intercourse with him. She left the bedroom but he pursued her, forced her back into the room, locked the door, and started assaulting her.
For about two hours, he intermittently punched her face and hit her head against the wall.
Teo's father, who lived in the same flat, awoke to her crying and alerted the police. Teo was arrested and Lim was sent to Singapore General Hospital.
The victim sustained multiple facial fractures, a brain haemorrhage, and a fractured little finger, for which required plastic surgery and hand surgery. She was also later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
During the trial, Teo challenged the testimony and argued that he has borderline personality disorder, has problems controlling his rage, and had an alcoholic blackout that night.
However, the prosecutor held that alcohol intoxication was not a mitigating factor to his cause, but an aggravating factor instead.
The judge also found that Teo failed to show that he was beyond intoxicated that he did not have the intent to commit the offences, to which his own father testified he looked conscious when they found him in the bedroom.
Teo began serving his sentence immediately yesterday, 22 June, when the sentence was made
Teo's lawyer told the court that he has also since made full compensation of about SGD10,000 (RM30,660) for Lim's medical bills.
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