Man jailed for trapping friend who died in escape attempt

This article is more than 12 months old

A drug offender was so convinced that his friend had informed the authorities about his unlawful habit that he took the wheelchair user home and refused to let him go.

Desperate to leave the third- storey Eunos Crescent flat, Mr Khiong Lam Swee, 62, tried to flee by climbing out of a window but fell to his death after being trapped inside for almost 19 hours.

Ho Chin Hin, 57, was jailed for nine months on Tuesday (July 25) after pleading guilty to wrongfully confining Mr Khiong, whom he had known for 22 years.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Daphne Lim said Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers first arrested Ho on May 5 last year but he was later released on bail.

He met Mr Khiong at the Eunos Crescent Market and Food Centre 12 days later and they consumed heroin together in a toilet.

DPP Lim said: "As the accused suspected that the victim had provided some information to the CNB which led to his earlier arrest, he decided to take the victim back to the unit at around 12pm on the same day."

Once in the flat, Ho accused his friend of being an informant. Mr Khiong denied the allegation, but was told he would not be allowed to leave until he told "the truth".

Ho's younger brother went home about 10 hours later and pushed Mr Khiong out of the flat in his wheelchair. But Ho rushed out and wheeled his friend back inside.

The brother later said he would not interfere in Ho's affairs. He declined to help Mr Khiong when asked at about 5am the next day.

DPP Lim said Ho was asleep in his room when he heard a loud thud at around 9.40am. He rushed out and saw Mr Khiong's wheelchair near a window. "He then rushed to the ground floor and saw the deceased lying on the ground. The accused (asked) passers-by to call for assistance. "

Paramedics from the Singapore Civil Defence Force took Mr Khiong to hospital but he died of multiple injuries about three hours later. Ho was arrested later that day.

The court heard that he had been sentenced to five years and three months' jail last July for drug-related offences. He will spend another nine months behind bars after serving the earlier sentence.

COURT & CRIMEcrimeSingapore