Singapore: 69-year-old mentally unstable man spends months in IMH, might be sent to prison

Mentally ill man sent to jail
Mentally ill man sent to jail (Representational Picture) Reuters

The 69-year-old Kong Peng Yee, who worked as an aircraft technician, has spent as a voluntary patient at Institute of Mental Health (IMH). He already served two-years in prison after he was found guilty of killing his wife when he was suffering from a psychotic problem. But now he might return to jail again.

Even though Kong's mental condition is now under control after taking proper medication, he needs a long-term psychiatric follow-up and should be monitored regularly, as told by IHM.

During an appeal by prosecutors for a longer sentence, the three-judge Court of Appeal was told that Kong's daughters are not aware of the sentence and do not want to stay with him in the same house.

Kong was sentenced to two years of imprisonment for killing Wong Chik Yeok by using a knife first and then a chopper. According to an autopsy, 189 injuries had found on Madam Wong's body.

Actually, he started having delusions that his family wanted to harm him. On March 13, 2016, when he woke up from sleep he took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed his wife. Later he asked his sister to make a call to the police station and told her to write on a piece of paper about the distribution of his assets.

However, the prosecutors had urged for at least nine years of jail but on October 2016, the High Court gave Kong only two years of imprisonment, when he pleaded guilty to culpable homicide.

As the prison term of Kong was backdated to the date of his arrest, the authority released him from jail on the same day and he was also given a one-third remission for his good behaviour.

On the other hand, the prosecutor had indicated in the High Court that on the release day, they would be filing an appeal to extend his sentence.

However, Tay Yong Kwang, the judge of Judge of Appeal mentioned that the situation was very difficult. He also said that if something like this happened to Tay Yong's own family then he will still probably be a bit wary.

This kind of situations become complicated when there are children at home and people have no idea on the reasons behind provoking psychiatric activity.

Tay Yong has also mentioned that if Kong wants to leave the IMH now, then there is nothing to stop him.

The court also wants further psychiatric evidence before its final judgment. According to reports, the final judgment will help the judiciary system to solve similar cases in future.

Before the judgment, the court wanted to know if Kong stops taking his medication then how it affected his condition: whether his health was enhanced by taking medication in a structured environment such as the prison or not and how long he has to take the medication.