SINGAPORE — Upset with his co-worker for sending a photograph of an uncleared dustbin to a work chat group on the phone, a cleaner working at the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) decided to stab his colleague in the mouth with a pair scissors, but pierced his neck instead.
Thevendran Rao Rejendran, 19, then gave chase as his 22-year-old victim Ruban Raj Tamil Arasan, who is also a cleaner at SIM, fled from him while bleeding heavily.
The fight ended only after their supervisor intervened and called in security personnel.
For his actions, Thevendran, a Malaysian, was sentenced to three months’ jail on Wednesday (Sept 27) after pleading guilty to voluntarily causing hurt.
The court heard that at the time of the incident, Thevendran and the victim worked as cleaners at the SIM Clementi campus located at 461 Clementi Road.
On the afternoon of June 30 this year, Mr Ruban noticed that a dustbin was full and Thevendran was responsible for clearing it, so he decided to take a photograph of the bin and sent it to the chat group for workers.
This led to a verbal dispute between Thevendran and Mr Ruban, and both traded vulgarities before Mr Ruban walked away.
Deputy Public Prosector (DPP) Pavithra Ramkumar said that Thevendran then took a pair of scissors from his work trolley and ran towards Mr Ruban, intending to stab him in the mouth.
However, Thevendran stabbed the victim once on the left side of the neck, near his left ear, before punching Mr Ruban once on his right temple.
Mr Ruban ran away while bleeding heavily, but that did not deter Thevendran, who gave chase from the first floor to the second floor, and then to the car park. It was at the car park where Mr Ruban sought help from their supervisor.
Court documents stated that the supervisor broke up the fight and called in security personnel. Thevendran was later arrested at the campus on the same day.
Mr Ruban was taken to the National University Hospital where he was found to have sustained bruising on the right side of his head and a cut wound near the left lower jaw area with a depth of about 3cm.
He was discharged a few days later on July 3 and was noted to have felt mild weakness of his left facial nerve.
DPP Pavithra sought a sentence of three to four months’ jail, saying that Thevendran had sustained his streak of violence by giving chase after the victim walked away on the first attack.
During mitigation, Thevendran, who was not represented by a lawyer, pleaded with the court for leniency and a lower sentence, and said that he was still “very young” and wished to “reform and have a better future”.
Thevendran added that Mr Ruban had used vulgarities against his mother, which made him angry.
Court documents did not disclose if the duo are still working as cleaners at SIM.
For voluntarily causing hurt, Thevendran could have been jailed up to three years or fined up to S$5,000, or both.