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Judicial CP - March 2014

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The Straits Times, Singapore, 14 March 2014, p.A2

Life term, 24 strokes for killing girlfriend

Prison officer took $14,500 from her accounts around the time of murder

By Selina Lum

Lim (left) and victim Ms Loh

A JUNIOR prison officer who sponged off four women while married will spend the rest of his life behind bars for murdering one of his girlfriends.

Judicial Commissioner Tan Siong Thye also ordered Lim Wee Thong, 48, to be caned the maximum 24 strokes for his "vicious" attack on Ms Loh Nyuk Moi, 50.

An autopsy found 10 stab wounds on her body -- three piercing the heart and two penetrating the lungs. There were also wounds on her left forearm and palm indicating that she had defended herself against an attack.

Lim initially went on trial last month for murder with intent to kill, which carries the mandatory death penalty. Four days into the trial, prosecutors amended the charge to murder with intent to cause bodily injury likely to cause death, which gives the judge the discretion to impose the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Lim formally pleaded guilty to the amended charge yesterday.

Ms Loh's brother-in-law, who wanted to be known only as Mr Pang, 50, said Lim's sentence was too light. "He should die for taking a life," said the financial adviser, adding that Lim should be stabbed 10 times "in return".

Despite having a wife and teenage son, the sergeant carried on relationships with four women who gave him money to pay his bills and loans.

Some time in February 2011, he stabbed Ms Loh at her old home in Taman Jurong, a Yung Ping Road flat earlier sold back to the Housing Board.

The weapon was a kitchen knife he had asked another girlfriend to buy for him while they were shopping in December 2010.

Press cutting

Ms Loh's family made a missing persons report on Feb 14, 2011 when they could not contact her. They found her body in the flat on Feb 16. Around the time Ms Loh was killed, Lim withdrew a total of $14,500 from her bank accounts. He was arrested on Feb 17, 2011 at Causeway Point mall while out with another girlfriend.

Lim told police that Ms Loh stabbed herself in anger after he refused to commit to marrying her. But prosecutors pointed to money as a motive, painting a picture of a man mired in debt to banks and loan sharks.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Shahla Iqbal did not press for the death penalty but sought a severe caning sentence for Lim for killing his victim in "an extremely violent and brutal manner".

She said the "philandering" Lim had shown no remorse and was a "selfish, self-centred and manipulative man" who preyed on lonely women.

Defence lawyer Anand Nalachandran said Lim was under constant stress from financial woes and juggling his relationships.

The Singapore Prison Service said it will start proceedings against Lim "with a view to dismiss him from service".

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