The Straits Times: 'Marsiling Baby' to hang for murderPathip's claim that his mind went blank during the killing was not consistent with his actions, said the judge. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
He killed his girlfriend after finding her in bed with another man earlier
A 24-YEAR-OLD man was found guilty yesterday of murdering his 18-year-old girlfriend in Ang Mo Kio more than two years ago.
Friends and family of Pathip Selvan Sugumaran who packed the courtroom wailed as the High Court passed the mandatory death sentence on him for the murder of Miss Jeevitha Panippan.
The body of Miss Jeevitha, a private student and kindergarten teacher, was discovered on July 8, 2008, behind an electrical substation opposite Block 154, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5. She had 15 external injuries, out of which three wounds were fatal blows.
Pathip, who is known to his family and friends as 'Marsiling Baby', did not dispute that he killed her on the night of July 7, 2008.
But he claimed that he had been provoked by Miss Jeevitha who had taunted him by saying her new beau was better in bed. He said he lost self-control and his mind was 'blank' during the stabbing.
Defence psychiatrist Tommy Tan said Pathip has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition associated with impulsivity and rage, and that this abnormal mental state reduced his responsibility for the killing.
But these defences were rejected by the High Court yesterday.
Pathip and Miss Jeevitha became lovers in April 2008. A month into their relationship, she reported him to the police for rape - they had unprotected sex after an argument and she was worried about getting pregnant. But they continued to date.
On the morning of July 7, 2008, Pathip went to her flat at Block 157. When he peeped into her bedroom from outside, he saw her in bed with a man.
That evening, he bought a kitchen knife. He later told police that he wanted to use the knife to threaten her into telling the truth about the man.
On the same day, he met Miss Jeevitha and her mother at Block 155 and he said he wanted to marry her.
After the older woman went off, Pathip pulled her to the back of the substation and confronted her.
He said that when she told him that her new beau was better in bed, he whipped out the knife and stabbed her while she shouted 'I love you'. After she collapsed, he kissed her and removed a gold chain he had given her.
Later, Pathip and his mother crossed the Causeway but she returned to Singapore alone. The next day, he decided to return after she told him over the phone that the police would take her to the police station if he did not.
In his written judgment, Justice Kan Ting Chiu said Pathip's claim that his mind 'went blank' was not consistent with his actions. If that had happened, he would have been alarmed to see her bleeding when he snapped out of it, and would likely have called for help. Instead, he just left her there.
He also said the defence has not established that Pathip had ADHD. Reports from Pathip's days in school and national service showed that he functioned normally.
Justice Kan added that Pathip talked about his mind going blank only when he saw Dr Tan in October last year.
The judge said it was clear that Pathip's mental processes did not cease during the attack.
Pathip's lawyer, Mr Subhas Anandan, said his client would be appealing.