PUTRAJAYA: An engineer who killed his girlfriend six years ago on Valentine's Day has been spared the gallows as Malaysia's Federal Court ruled that he was of unsound mind when he committed the offence.
On Thursday (Feb 14), which happens to be Valentine's Day, a five-man bench allowed Cheong Teik Keon's appeal to set aside his conviction and death sentence.
Court of Appeal president Ahmad Maarop, who led the bench, said that the 35-year-old man did commit the offence but was incapable of discerning that his action was wrong or against the law.
He ordered Cheong to be placed in a mental asylum in Ipoh, Perak.
When the offence was committed, Cheong was staying at his girlfriend Tan Ching Chin's house in Seberang Prai, Penang, the prosecution had said during his trial.
On the morning of Feb 14, 2013, her body was discovered by the maid and her mother in the bathroom of the house, with the accused holding her leg and stabbing himself in the stomach.
A psychiatrist had testified that Cheong stabbed his 24-year-old girlfriend three times, before purportedly trying to commit suicide by stabbing himself four times so that he could be reunited with her in heaven.
Cheong pleaded insanity, but was convicted and sentenced to death by the George Town High Court in October 2016. A previous appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in May last year.