Man jailed and caned over fatal $30 robbery; mystery from 2001 solved

Photo: Brian Jeffery Beggerly / Flickr

Gunasegaran Ramasamy led a life of crime from as early as the age of 13, and he’s never looked back since. For at least a decade, he went on a spree of offences that included housebreaking, robbery, and assault.

But amongst all the criminal deeds he committed, there was one that haunted his conscience throughout. Turns out, he was the culprit behind an unsolved fatal robbery that took place at Bukit Batok West Avenue 8 back in 2001.

Here’s a breakdown of how the robbery went down:

  • On Oct 2, 2001, 16-year old Gunasegaran was handed $5 from his sister and told to buy instant noodles from a shop nearby.
  • He decided to use the opportunity to leave the house — as he was under the home detention scheme for previous offences involving housebreaking and theft — and skulk around the area for victims to rob.
  • He spotted 28-year old Soh San — a manager for telco M1 — at the void deck of Block 172 on Bukit Batok Avenue 8.
  • Following her into the lift lobby, he pressed the lift button and rubbed it with his knuckles to remove traces of his fingerprints.
  • Inside the lift, he withdrew a knife and demanded money from her.
  • In the ensuing struggle, he stabbed Soh in the arm and received $30 for his trouble.
  • Unsatisfied with the $30, he tried to grab her purse.
  • When she resisted, he became enraged and proceeded to stab her repeatedly until her entire body collapsed onto him.

A neighbor discovered Soh’s body – her legs jamming the lift doors – sometime after the robbery.

For more than a decade since that heinous event, he was said to have been haunted by voices condemning him for killing the poor victim over a measly $30. It finally got to the point where he had enough and decided to surrender himself to the police, who had found traces of methamphetamine in his urine samples after his arrest.

In sentencing, the original charge for murder against Gunasegaran was reduced to causing hurt with robbery, as the prosecution took into account that he had surrendered himself.

In a report by TODAY, his lawyer said, “This is not a case where the accused was caught — he had a choice, and he came forward. It would have remained a cold case if he did not do so, but he surrendered because his crime plagued his conscience for over 10 years.”

Agreed, but we’re still trying to wrap our heads over the fact that a decades-old mystery happened because of a meagre $30.

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