Stabbed over a joke
Chinese national stabs colleague in abdomen over what DPP calls an inane dispute
It was a joke.
But no one laughed.
Instead, a man ended up being stabbed, and his assailant ended up in jail.
On Jan 30, Chinese national Chen Pei Min, 39, jokingly told his colleague, Mr Zhang Yuekun, that he could throw him to the ground with just one hand.
Yang Changchun, a cleaner, overheard this, barged forward and exclaimed that he could do the same to Mr Zhang, 45.
When Mr Zhang replied he could do likewise to him, Yang, 47, got angry.
He went off and returned with a knife that has a 10cm-long blade, which he used to stab Mr Zhang once at the left side of his abdomen.
Yang was jailed for 15 months yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt with a weapon.
The three Chinese nationals, who worked for the same cleaning company, were resting at home at Jalan Suka in Geylang when the incident took place around 9pm.
Shortly before the stabbing, Yang and Mr Chen were drinking beer and liquor at the front yard of their house with friends.
Mr Zhang did not join them, the court heard.
Mr Chen then walked over to tease him, which then got out of hand.
After the attack on Mr Zhang, the others disarmed Yang.
One of them called for an ambulance, and Mr Zhang was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he was warded for five days.
He was placed on medical leave for four weeks after that.
He suffered injuries to the middle segment of his small intestine and his omentum - a layer of membrane that surrounds the stomach and abdominal organs.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Houston Johannus urged District Judge Luke Tan to jail Yang between 18 months and two years.
He stressed that the attack took place after an inane dispute and was unprovoked.
In his mitigation plea, Yang's lawyer, Mr Benny Tan, asked the judge to jail his client for between 10 and 15 months.
He said Yang was remorseful and there was no indication Mr Zhang's injuries were life-threatening.
For voluntarily causing hurt with the knife, he could have been jailed up to seven years, or fined, or caned, or any combination of such punishments.