Alleged robber who shot victim in 1981 unfit to stand trial
Man hauled to court for shooting incident more than 30 years ago
He was one of Singapore's most wanted men.
For more than 30 years, Chin Sheong Hon eluded the authorities after he allegedly shot a woman from behind with a revolver in November 1981.
Chin, then 31, reportedly left Singapore soon after and remained at large for 32 years.
It was only in 2013 that he was repatriated to Singapore following his release from a prison in Thailand, where he was jailed for talking part in a "Red shirt" protest in Bangkok.
Yesterday, Chin, now 65, was hauled to the High Court to answer for his alleged offences. Apart from the shooting, he had allegedly robbed two people earlier that year.
But Justice Tay Yong Kwang found Chin to be of unsound mind as he is suffering from the early stages of a dementing illness and deemed unfit to enter a plea.
Justice Tay said the court would report Chin's case to the Minister of Law, who will decide how long he will continue to be confined at a psychiatric institution.
Chin was one of the 10 most wanted fugitives sought by the police, reported The Straits Times in 1991.
Between July and October 1981, he allegedly robbed two people of $17,850 using his revolver, court papers said.
On Nov 6 that year, 31-year-old Goh Siew Foon left her Upper Thomson office for the bank about 40 metres away, reported The Straits Times.
Miss Goh, a partner of a now-defunct firm, was accompanied by her brother and was 4 metres from the United Overseas Bank branch when Chin allegedly approached her from behind. He then allegedly drew his revolver and fired a shot that went through Miss Goh's right hip.
As she collapsed, Chin allegedly grabbed her briefcase containing $92,000 - estimated to be worth $182,000 today after taking inflation into account - of cash and cheques.
Her brother, Mr Goh Joon Toon, then 30, tried to chase Chin but Chin was said to have hopped onto a motorcycle ridden by an accomplice and allegedly fled towards Sembawang Road, reported The Straits Times.
Miss Goh was taken to the now-defunct Toa Payoh Hospital, where she was found to be critically hurt. The New Paper understands she was hospitalised for 45 days.
Chin remained at large until his arrest in Thailand. After he was repatriated in June 2013, he was charged with one count of armed robbery with grievous hurt and two counts of robbery.
Yesterday, the prosecution said an Institute of Mental Health (IMH) report deemed Chin, who was unrepresented, to be of unsound mind and incapable of making his defence.
When asked if he wanted to say anything, Chin told the court that his case was about him suing founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and that he wanted opposition politicians to represent him.
Justice Tay said that based on what Chin said, it was quite obvious that the IMH report is correct and that he would report the case to the Law Minister.
In such a case, the accused can be remanded indefinitely pending the Minister's order, said criminal lawyer Rajan Supramaniam.