Yishun knife attack: Man slashed former flatmate over suspected affair

Samuel Devaraj
The Straits Times
May 22, 2023

While on a remission order following his release from prison, a drug offender attacked his former flatmate with a knife after suspecting the man of having an affair with a woman he was in a relationship with.

Abdul Karim V. Sickander also attacked the man’s girlfriend, causing both of them to suffer multiple injuries and permanent scarring.

On Monday, Abdul Karim, 59, pleaded guilty to four charges, including one for voluntarily causing grievous hurt with a dangerous weapon and drug offences. He will be sentenced in June.

After serving time in prison for a drug conviction in June 2015, Abdul Karim was released on April 13, 2020, and was subjected to a remission order until Oct 7, 2022.

He rented a flat in Yishun with a 62-year-old Singaporean man and also began a relationship with a woman named Tuti.

Some time before June 23, 2022, Abdul Karim suspected his flatmate of having an affair with Tuti, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Matthew Choo, adding that the suspicions were unfounded.

After Abdul Karim confronted him on several occasions with his suspicions, the flatmate moved out of the flat.

About a week later, on June 23, 2022, Abdul Karim returned home at about 8.20pm after work, having consumed alcohol and methamphetamine.

When he could not find his former flatmate and Tuti at home, he took a kitchen knife with a 22cm blade and a smaller knife with a 15cm blade and left the flat.

At about 8.25pm, the former flatmate and his Indonesian girlfriend, 42, went to the flat to pick up some of his clothes.

When they reached the flat on the 10th floor, they noticed the lights were on and assumed Abdul Karim was inside. To avoid a confrontation, they went down to the void deck, and the girlfriend called the police.

The couple later saw a police car near the block and assumed the police were engaging Abdul Karim. They then took a lift to the 10th floor.

When they reached the 10th floor, Abdul Karim, who was waiting at the lift lobby, saw them. He entered the lift and slashed his former flatmate.

When the girlfriend tried to stop him, Abdul Karim slashed her as well. She managed to get out of the lift and ran along the common corridor, shouting for help.

As the lift doors closed with the two men inside, Abdul Karim continued slashing and stabbing the victim as the lift descended to ground level.

The police officers who responded to the girlfriend’s call then escorted Abdul Karim out of the lift.

The victims were taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. The man, who suffered multiple lacerations, underwent emergency surgery. He was discharged on June 28, 2022, and given 25 days of hospitalisation leave.

His girlfriend, who also had surgery, was discharged on June 26, 2022, and given 14 days of hospitalisation leave.

DPP Choo asked the court to sentence Abdul Karim to between 14 and 15 years’ jail, with enhanced sentence of 107 days’ imprisonment. He said the attack was premeditated, indiscriminate, brutal and relentless.

The judge called for a report to determine if Abdul Karim is suitable for preventive detention, which is usually imposed on recalcitrant offenders for the protection of the public.

He is expected to be sentenced on June 13.