Teen jailed and caned for slashing man in supermarket
Recalcitrant offender snapped after victim refused to buy him cigarettes
A recalcitrant teenage offender flew into a rage after a man refused to buy him cigarettes.
The teen used a knife to attack his victim at the FairPrice outlet at Boon Lay Place last October.
James Teck Jing You, who was jobless and turned 19 earlier this month, repeatedly slashed Mr Lee Jing Chwen's face and head.
A medical report states that the injuries of Mr Lee, 23, a waiter, will cause "permanent incapacity in terms of disfigurement and scarring".
Teck was sentenced yesterday to 31/2 years' jail with eight strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to one count each of using a knife to cause grievous hurt to Mr Lee and being in possession of the weapon in a public place.
The court heard Teck was 13 when his parents filed a "beyond parental control" complaint against him as they were unable to discipline him. He was then taken to Boys' Town, a charity with residential care for vulnerable children and youth.
The teenager was out on leave during his stay there when he committed robbery with hurt and was sentenced to reformative training on April 25, 2018.
He was released from a reformative training centre in February last year, only to commit the knife attack at the supermarket just eight months later.
Shortly before the incident on Oct 7 last year, Teck slipped a knife into the top of his bermudas and left his home.
Teck was at Boon Lay Place when he approached Mr Lee outside the outlet. Teck asked Mr Lee to buy him cigarettes and became angry when he repeatedly declined to do so.
Teck whipped out the knife, lunged at him and yelled: "You don't want to buy, right?"
He slashed Mr Lee's head.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Janice See said: "The victim tried ducking to escape the attacks and started shouting that he was sorry, but the accused pulled the victim's upper body downwards and swung the knife one more time in the direction of the victim's face. The victim managed to escape the temperature screening area and ran into the (supermarket), leaving a trail of blood. The accused gave chase, caught up with the victim, who was limping by this time, and swung the knife once more towards the victim."
At one point, Teck swung the weapon towards Mr Lee's head and it became lodged there before he pulled it off. Teck stopped his attack only when he realised he had attracted public attention. He fled the scene and took a taxi to Yishun.
The police were alerted and officers arrested Teck at around 11pm that day. Mr Lee was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and was later given 40 days of hospitalisation leave.
He has since resumed work.