High Court reduces sentence of knife-wielding man shot in Clementi

The jail sentence of Mr Soo Cheow Wee (“Mr Soo”), was on 31 July 2023 reduced on appeal from an aggregate sentence of 33 months’ imprisonment to 27 months’ imprisonment, in an appeal heard by the Honourable Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon (“CJ Menon”) sitting in the General Division of the High Court of Singapore.

In September 2022, Mr Soo pleaded guilty to four proceeded charges including criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon. Three charges pertained to an incident in February 2022 where he was eventually shot outside Clementi Police Division, while one charge pertained to a separate incident in 2019.

Before the District Court, the Prosecution sought a sentence of at least five years, and in the alternative, an aggregate imprisonment term of 57 to 63 months’ imprisonment. The learned District Judge Luke Tan sentenced Mr Soo to 33 months imprisonment.

Both the Prosecution and Defence filed appeals against the sentence.

On appeal, the Prosecution repeated its contention that at least five years’ Corrective Training (CT) be imposed, or in the alternative, 57 to 63 months’ imprisonment.

The Defence contended that an aggregate sentence of not more than 23 months’ imprisonment would be appropriate.

On 31 July 2023, the Honourable CJ Menon issued his judgment in PP v Soo Cheow Wee [2023] SGHC 204, dismissing the Prosecution’s appeal and allowing the Defence’s cross-appeal in part. This judgment provides important clarifications on the principles governing the consideration of mental conditions in sentencing as well as the sentencing framework for offences of voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon.

The Court found that Mr Soo’s pre-existing mental conditions, including schizophrenia and substance induced psychosis, substantially impaired his responsibility for his actions and the offences, including his impulse control and decision-making abilities at the time of the offences, thus reducing his culpability.

Mr Soo was represented by our Chooi Jing Yen and Ng Yuan Siang, with the support of the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS). The Prosecution was led by Deputy Attorney-General Tai Wei Shyong, Senior Counsel and DPP R Arvindren.

The full grounds of decision are available by clicking the “Read More” link below.