Singapore

Man bashed his elderly mum to make her reveal her ATM card PIN

He is jailed for more than five years for whacking her with walking stick and threatening to cut her fingers

A man beat his elderly mother several times with her walking stick and threatened to cut her fingers - all because he wanted to use her ATM card.

When the 77-year-old woman refused to divulge the personal identification number (PIN) of her ATM card, her son began assaulting her, stopping only after she gave him her PIN.

Adrian Yap Yin Leung, 56, was yesterday sentenced to jail for five years and three months.

He pleaded guilty to one count each of voluntarily causing hurt to his mother while robbing her and subsequently failing to report to the police for investigations.

Another charge of possessing a false Singapore passport was taken into consideration during sentencing by District Judge Ronald Gwee.

Yap was with his mother, Madam Eunice Tsang Siew Geok, in her home at about 11pm on Oct 16, 2018, when he asked for the PIN of her ATM card so he could withdraw money from her POSB account for his own use.

Court documents do not state if they were living together.

When she refused to tell him, Yap hit her multiple times with her walking stick. He also kicked and stamped on her body, pulled her hair and threatened to cut all her fingers with a knife.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Woon Yee said the assault stopped only after Madam Tsang relented and revealed her PIN.

"As she was badly injured and in great pain, the victim was unable to call for police assistance after the assault. She then lay down in her room to rest," Mr Lim said.

Yap left at about 3am the next day and withdrew $2,000 from his mother's bank account.

Madam Tsang later sought assistance from her neighbours, who called the police after noticing the injuries on her face.

She was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where she was found to have injuries such as rib fractures.

DPP Lim said the woman became fearful of going out alone after the incident, for fear of being beaten up. She also had recurrent thoughts of Yap's assault.

He was arrested on Oct 26, 2018, and released on a personal bond the next day.

As a condition of the bond, he was required to report to Tanglin Police Station on Nov 9 that year but failed to do so. He was arrested again on Aug 5, 2019.

Urging the court to sentence Yap to five years and three months in jail, DPP Lim noted how Yap had assaulted his mother who was "frail, helpless and unable to retaliate".

Yap's lawyer, Mr Ng Shi Yang, said in mitigation that there was no premeditation to his client's assault.

District Judge Gwee backdated Yap's sentence to Oct 31, 2019, when he was first remanded.

When The Straits Times went to the unit yesterday, neighbours said Madam Tsang had moved out about a year ago.

A domestic worker, who did not want to be identified, said she was the first person to see the elderly woman early in the morning after the assault.

"She asked for help and I was scared so I quickly called my employer, who called the police," the maid said.

She added that Madam Tsang lived with her elderly husband who was hard of hearing. Both of them needed to use walking aids.

Another neighbour, who looked to be in her 60s and did not want to be identified, said the couple moved out with a woman who is believed to be their daughter.

They mostly kept to themselves and the unit has been vacant since, she added.

COURT & CRIME