Singapore woman who stabbed self was not driven by mental illness, court hears
- A mental health report had found that the woman had both an ‘opioid use disorder’ and a ‘stimulant use disorder’
- But she was not of unsound mind at the time of the incident and there was ‘no established causal link’ between her offence and her mental conditions
A Singapore woman who was arrested after stabbing herself outside a school last year was sentenced to six months’ jail in a district court on Wednesday.
Juliana Abdul Kadir, 53, pleaded guilty to two charges related to the possession of offensive weapons in a public place.
Her sentence was backdated to September 19, 2022, the date of her arrest, to account for the time that Juliana spent in remand between September 19 and sometime around October 12 when she was released on bail.
When she was arrested, the police found in her possession a knife measuring 21cm in length, as well as a penknife blade that was 13cm long.
The court heard that the police – who were responding to a report about Juliana – spotted her walking along the main road outside St Hilda’s Secondary School, a school in eastern Singapore, at around 6.40pm on September 19.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Wu Yu Jie said that at the time, Juliana was seen walking along the road while holding a knife and talking on the phone. It was not mentioned who she was speaking to.
When the police approached Juliana and warned her to put the knife down, DPP Wu said she ignored their instructions and “continued to wave the knife around”.
She then stabbed herself in the lower abdomen.
Although she was bleeding profusely, Juliana “remained visibly agitated” and threatened to continue to hurt herself if the police did not back off.
During the confrontation, Juliana also held the knife to her neck and then over her left wrist multiple times.
DPP Wu said a taser round was discharged in an attempt to subdue Juliana, but it missed. Nevertheless, the police were eventually able to subdue and arrest her.
Investigations later revealed that Juliana had bought the knife about three days before the incident, with the intention to replace a blunt knife at home.
However, on the day of the incident, she carried the knife with her instead of leaving it at home.
As for the penknife blade, DPP Wu said Juliana claimed it was used for cutting straws for drug consumption.
DPP Wu, who sought a sentence of at least six months, said that an Institute of Mental Health report found that Juliana had both an “opioid use disorder” and a “stimulant [methamphetamine or ice] use disorder”.
He added that at the time of her arrest, Juliana was “experiencing methamphetamine intoxication and a methamphetamine-induced psychotic disorder with hallucinatory voices and paranoid delusions”.
That said, Juliana was “no longer psychotic” and was not of unsound mind at the time of the incident, said DPP Wu.
He also said that there was “no established causal link between her offending and her psychiatric conditions”.
Said DPP Wu: “While we do not accept that the accused merely had the knife in her possession to replace a dull one at home … there is still nothing to suggest that she was carrying the knife in public in the manner she was because of her psychotic episode.”
He said the psychotic disorder was “incidental and unrelated to the charge of possession of two offensive weapons”.
The offence of possessing offensive weapons carries a sentence of up to three years’ jail and at least six strokes of the cane.
Under Singapore law, however, women or anyone above the age of 50 cannot be caned.