Assault student given suspended term
A Singaporean law student who assaulted his former girlfriend in a futile attempt to force a reconciliation was given a six-month suspended jail term yesterday.
Brandon Tee Zhi-yi, 24, an exchange law student at the University of Hong Kong, was earlier found guilty in the District Court of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Attacking his 19-year-old ex-girlfriend, a fellow law student, in July last year he pulled her hair, banged her head against a wall and cut her with a bottle opener. He did not face other charges, including false imprisonment, wounding with intent and assault, after Deputy Judge Merinda Chow Yin-chu ruled the charges could not be substantiated.
Chow handed down a six-month jail term, suspended for two years, after considering reports by psychologists and psychiatrists in relation to Tee's borderline personality disorder. 'It is in his own interest and the interest of the public that he should be treated. Otherwise, if he faces the same problem in the future again, he would pose a danger to himself and his partner,' Chow said.
The court earlier heard that Tee and the woman met in Indonesia in January last year. In August that year, he came to the university as an exchange law student. The two became lovers but broke up in May.
On the night of July 7, the woman went to Tee's flat to pick up her belongings. The victim testified that he hit her and brandished a bottle opener with a short knife at one end. He was accused of pointing it at her eye and threatening to blind her and cut her face, chest, stomach, buttocks and her arms. The victim also accused Tee of holding her in the flat for three days. Tee was found guilty only of assaulting her.
Reports read in court showed Tee started dating when he was 16 and had more than 10 relationships. When involved with a girlfriend, he was totally dependent and emotionally attached to her.
The court heard Tee was due to leave for Singapore on Saturday. The University of Singapore will allow him to resume his studies if he agrees to receive counselling.