SINGAPORE: A National University of Singapore (NUS) student who strangled his ex-girlfriend when she declined to revive their relationship was sentenced on Friday (Jul 17) to community-based sentences.
Yin Zi Qin, 23, 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.
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.
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".
He 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.
Yin pleaded guilty in February to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt, with another charge of criminal trespass taken into consideration.
He was in his second year of a dental course at NUS and had dated the 21-year-old victim for almost two years.
In May 2019, the victim broke up with Yin and he entered her home with an access card she had previously given him.
She returned home to meet him and together they entered her bedroom by climbing into her window from an adjacent showroom unit.
Yin 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 been jailed for up to two years, fined a maximum S$5,000, or both.