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Migrant worker jailed 6 months after nearly biting off fellow worker’s finger over water dispute

SINGAPORE — After getting drunk, Rengasamy Karalmarx was reminded of a dispute one month ago where a fellow migrant worker had inadvertently splashed him while emptying a water bottle.

SINGAPORE — After getting drunk, Rengasamy Karalmarx was reminded of a dispute one month before, when a fellow migrant worker had inadvertently splashed him while emptying a water bottle.

Rengasamy then confronted the other man and attacked him, biting his ring finger so hard that it was almost amputated.

On Thursday (Dec 23), the 30-year-old India national was sentenced to six months’ jail after pleading guilty to voluntarily causing hurt, which in turn caused grievous hurt to Mr Krishnan Karthikeyan, 35.

Both workers were staying at the Cochrane Lodge 1 dormitory at 51 Admiralty Road West in Woodlands earlier this year when the first incident took place, the court heard.

On Aug 4, Mr Krishnan was emptying his water bottle because he wanted to refill it with fresh water. He discarded the water from the third level of the dormitory where he was.

When some of it splashed down onto the second level where Rengasamy was standing, Rengasamy went up to confront the other man and they argued, but they did not physically fight.

About a month later on the evening of Sept 5, Rengasamy grew intoxicated after drinking three cans of beer.

While standing outside his room on the second level and waiting for his friend, he felt water drip onto him from above. He then recalled the earlier incident and decided to confront Mr Krishnan again.

The victim was on the phone with his family in his room when Rengasamy approached him and punched him on the nose, causing him to bleed. Rengasamy then pushed him to the ground and continued punching him multiple times, as well as bit his right ring finger.

Blood spurted from the finger and Rengasamy bit Mr Krishnan’s thigh as well. Mr Krishnan bit Rengasamy’s thigh in response.

Other dormitory residents intervened and pulled Rengasamy away. The police were then called.

Mr Krishnan went to Khoo Teck Huat hospital that evening for medical help. He was given 14 days of hospitalisation leave after being diagnosed with a minor head injury, finger fracture and bite wound.

In another medical report, a doctor stated that the finger injury was a “near-amputation”.

Mr Krishnan’s employer has paid for his medical expenses amounting to S$3,882.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Ee Hsiun sought six to eight months’ jail for Rengasamy, describing the attack as “vicious and unprovoked”.

Those convicted of voluntarily causing hurt which causes grievous hurt can be jailed for up to five years or fined up to S$10,000, or punished with both.

Related topics

court crime migrant worker assault finger

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