A 44-year-old woman, Koh Sook Hoon, who was charged for murder in 2014 for killing her 7-year-old son with autism, has been sentenced to five years’ jail today (Mar 18).
The boy’s body was found at the foot of their HDB block at Block 815 Tampines Avenue 4 on Sep 13, 2014. The boy had lived with his parents, grandparents, and 12-year-old brother on the ninth floor of flat for over five years.
After Koh was remanded for psychiatric treatment following her arrest, she drew much sympathy from the members of the public. Several pleaded for Koh to be spared of the death penalty, and provide her counseling and long-term treatment instread.
“I think she needs mental evaluation, but not the death penalty,” wrote Facebook user Felix Clarice while another user, Mabell Ong added: “It’s never easy to be a mum and the task is made almost impossible when one has a special needs child.”
Koh was suffering from major depressive disorder at the time, but she understood “the nature and quality” of her actions when she directed the boy to stand on a stool by the kitchen window before grabbing his calves and pushing him out, said a psychiatrist from Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist in his report.
Being the primary caregiver for the boy, Koh was emotionally and physically strained, said her lawyer Anand Nalachandran in urging the Court to consider the exceptional circumstances of the case. “We can’t fathom what she’s going through,” he said.
According to Autism Resources Centre, about 31,000 people in Singapore are affected by the communications disability, autism.
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