SINGAPORE: The National University of Singapore (NUS) student who strangled his ex-girlfriend when she declined to revive their relationship has been suspended, said the university on Monday (Jul 20).
In a statement posted on Facebook, NUS said it has received feedback about the sentencing of a dentistry student who hurt his ex-girlfriend in an off-campus incident.
The student is not allowed on campus pending disciplinary proceedings, the university said.
“NUS stands strongly against any form of misconduct. Students who have breached NUS Statutes and Regulations face severe sanctions, including suspension and expulsion,” it said.
The university updated its statement on Monday afternoon to add that it "does not have the jurisdiction" to investigate "matters beyond the university".
"As such, NUS had to wait for the completion of the court proceedings to gather the facts of the case. We will now move to close this case as quickly as we can."
In another update later that evening, the university said it had "very recently discovered" that the victim, who was not an NUS student at the time of the incident, "is now a member of our community".
"With this new knowledge, a strict no-contact order has been issued to ensure the safety of the victim," said the university in its updated Facebook statement.
The victim's school is also working closely with the NUS victim care unit and has extended support and assistance to her, said the university.
The dentistry student, Yin Zi Qin, was sentenced on Friday to community-based sentences, after pleading guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt, with another charge of criminal trespass taken into consideration.
The 23-year-old was given a short detention order for 12 days, a day reporting order for five months with counselling and an order to complete 80 hours of community service over a year.
READ: NUS student who climbed into ex-girlfriend's home and strangled her gets short detention and day reporting orders
Community-based sentences are non-jail sentences introduced in 2010 to give the courts greater flexibility for minor offences, with offenders retaining no criminal records for the offence if the sentence is successfully completed.
After the sentencing, two online petitions calling for a harsher sentence and for NUS to expel Yin surfaced. As of Monday afternoon, the petitions have garnered around 22,000 signatures in total.
At the sentencing on Friday, District Judge Marvin Bay noted that while probation was not appropriate in this case, Yin's "relative youth, his rehabilitative prospects and his lack of (previous convictions)" made community based-sentences "a viable option".
The judge also said he was satisfied that Yin "is not at high risk of reoffending".
However, he noted that the victim suffered a degree of psychological harm, as she suffers from insomnia and has been "haunted with nightmares" of Yin breaking into her house or assaulting her.
She was "in constant paranoia about bumping into the accused in school" and her family members have also displayed "high levels of worry about their personal safety at home", with the victim's stepfather checking that all windows and doors are locked every night.
The student was in his second year of the dentistry course at NUS and had dated the 21-year-old victim for almost two years, the court heard.
In May 2019, the victim broke up with Yin and he entered her home with an access card she had given to him.
She returned home to meet him and together they entered her bedroom by climbing into her window from an adjacent showroom unit. Yin then gave her roses, begged for her forgiveness and pleaded with her not to end their relationship.
However, when she declined, he hit his own head against the wall before strangling her. She screamed and struggled against his grip, but he pressed his thumb against her eye, causing it to bleed.
The victim blacked out and came to on the floor. Yin was later pinned down by the victim's stepfather and she was taken to hospital with blurred vision. She suffered a temporary impairment to her vision, with a prolonged eye infection that took five months to resolve, and had to wear an eye patch.
For voluntarily causing hurt, Yin could have been jailed for up to two years, fined a maximum S$5,000, or both.