Singapore

Coffee shop assistant jailed for fatal slashing

A dispute arising from a coffee shop customer's unhappiness over its self-service policy on drinks turned fatal when an off-duty assistant confronted the patron with a cleaver.

The assistant, Khor Tzoong Meng, 51, was sentenced to eight years' jail yesterday after he pleaded guilty to a charge of culpable homicide for slashing Mr Ang Kim Keat, 37.

The victim later died in hospital from a gaping 20cm-long wound to his neck.

On Feb 24 last year, Khor, who worked the 3pm to 11pm shift at a Hougang Avenue 3 coffee shop, remained there after work, drinking beer by himself.

Shortly before 2am on Feb 25, Mr Ang ordered a drink, asking for it to be sent to his table.

However, one of the coffee-shop assistants on duty told him that the coffee shop had a self-service policy after 11pm.

CONFRONTATIONS

After angry confrontations with on-duty staff, Mr Ang walked away but confronted Khor, accusing him of staring at him.

Khor apologised and said he was not staring, but Mr Ang hurled vulgarities at him.

Khor then told one of the on-duty assistants that he wanted to explain the policy to the patron, armed himself with a cleaver and followed Mr Ang.

Near a lift landing, Mr Ang punched Khor in the right eye. Khor then took out his cleaver and slashed him in the neck.

Khor wiped the bloodied cleaver on the grass and returned to the coffee shop, washed the cleaver and returned it.

He continued drinking, telling a colleague he was "in great trouble".

Khor was arrested at home shortly after that.

In mitigation, his lawyer, Mr Josephus Tan, noted that an eyewitness had seen Khor talking softly and that it was Mr Ang who first resorted to violence. Things got out of hand when Khor was punched in the eye, said Mr Tan. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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