Eu Lim Hoklai, 57, had been given the mandatory death penalty by the High Court in 2009 for killing Madam Yu Hongjin on June 18, 2006.A SEAFOOD stall boss escaped the gallows on Tuesday when the Court of Appeal overturned his conviction for murdering his China mistress in the Ang Mo Kio massage parlour she ran.
Apr 12, 2011
Justice V. K. Rajah, delivering the decision of the three-judge court in Eu's appeal against his conviction, said that it was unsafe to conclude that this was a case of murder in cold blood.
Rather it appears to have been a death caused in the heat of the moment, said the judge, convicting him of a lesser charge of culpable homicide, which carries up to 10 years' jail or life imprisonment. Eu had gone to meet Madam Yu that day - Father's Day - but the meeting turned violent. Madam Yu died from strangulation and two stab wounds. Eu suffered wounds that damaged no major organs.
The prosecution's case was that Eu had strangled Madam Yu after she was stabbed twice and helpless. But Eu said Madam Yu stabbed him first and he retaliated. On Tuesday, Justice V. K. Rajah - delivering the Court of Appeal's decision - said it was plausible that some of Eu's wounds could have been inflicted by Madam Yu.
It was likely that a struggle took place in the massage parlour although it is not clear who struck the first blow, he said. The benefit of the doubt has to be given to the accused in such 'difficult' cases, said Justice Rajah.