A man in Singapore has been sentenced to four months and four weeks’ jail for stealing the property of a deceased suicide victim.
Warning: This article discusses sensitive topics, including suicide. Reader discretion is advised.
Ng Hoe Ghee, 52, pleaded guilty to one charge each of dishonest misappropriation of property and dishonest misappropriation of a deceased person’s property.
According to Channel News Asia, the incident occurred on August 12 last year when Ng discovered a 22-year-old man lying motionless at the foot of a Housing Board block.
Instead of alerting the authorities, Ng stole the dead man’s haversack and retrieved several electronic devices from it. Shockingly, he also read through the man’s notebooks, including a suicide note, before discarding it.
Due to Ng’s actions, the police lost crucial evidence that could have been used in their investigations into the man’s death. Ng discarded the handwritten note and reset the dead man’s handphones, making it impossible for the police to gather information from these items.
WHAT HAPPENED :
The court heard that Ng was in the vicinity of a building at approximately 1.20pm on August 12 last year when he noticed an individual lying at the base of a block.
The specific address where this incident occurred was redacted from the court documents. Upon closer inspection, Ng observed that the man had sustained multiple injuries on his face and body. Reacting quickly, Ng located some nearby cardboard and used it as a makeshift cover for the deceased individual. In addition, he noticed that the man’s wallet had fallen nearby, and Ng picked it up.
Following Ng’s actions, law enforcement officers promptly arrived at the block after receiving a report regarding the death. Ng cooperated with the police, providing them with a detailed account of what he had witnessed. He then handed over the wallet to the authorities.
Shortly after, paramedics arrived on the scene and officially declared the man deceased.
Investigations revealed that the deceased had jumped from a high level at the block after visiting a family member. He was carrying a black haversack containing his personal belongings at the time of his death.
Ng, who was initially cooperative when he informed the police about the incident and handed over the deceased’s wallet, later took advantage of the situation. He went to the 15th floor of the block out of curiosity and discovered the dead man’s haversack on a higher floor. After keeping it hidden initially, Ng eventually went through its contents and discarded everything except the electronic devices.
“On a higher floor, Ng saw the dead man’s black haversack. He took it, hid it in a box and stacked it with another box before hiding the pile outside his father’s flat’, the report added.
Unable to access the password-protected phones, Ng paid someone to unlock them. The phones were then reset, and the SIM cards were discarded. Ng later used one of the unlocked phones while keeping the stolen haversack with him at all times.
While perusing the books, he stumbled upon a note penned by the deceased which stated that the deceased man was “feeling pain and was struggling with his belief and faith”.
“felt that he was haunted by something or someone”, the dead man had also written this in the note.
Ng disposed of the note and miscellaneous items in the bag, opting to retain only the electronic devices. Since he couldn’t break into the password-protected phones, he decided to spend S$70 to have them unlocked by someone else. The person who unlocked the phones was not identified in court documents according to report.
Ng’s actions were eventually discovered when police officers approached him during a routine check and found that a police gazette had been issued against him.
The stolen items were recovered, but the reset phones and discarded suicide note rendered them useless in assisting the police’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding the man’s death.
In court, the prosecution sought jail time for Ng, citing the seriousness of his actions. They highlighted the rarity of cases involving dishonest misappropriation of a deceased person’s property and emphasized the need for a deterrent sentence.
During his mitigation, Ng apologized for his actions and cited financial strain as a motivating factor. He expressed remorse and regret for his actions and acknowledged that what he did was wrong. He mentioned observing the deceased man in distress and acknowledged that “this kind of thing” ought to remain undisclosed or undisclosed.
The 52-year-old Ng Hoe Ghee, was sentenced to four months and four weeks’ jail on Wednesday (Feb 7). Dishonest misappropriation from a dead person is a serious offense that can carry a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment and a fine.
- Leong Mun Wai Steps Down as PSP Secretary-General Over POFMA Order
- Singaporean Woman Dies in Go-Karting Accident in Batam, Indonesia
- Former Kinderland educator given conditional warning for child mismanagement ; Kinderland fined $5000
- MOH to introduce $100,000 retention scheme for nurses in public healthcare system
- Singaporean man jailed for pressing bolster onto housemate’s face