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Saturday August 27, 2005
Justice Lai Kew Chai said at the close of the 13-day trial of Huang Na (below left) murder case that the prosecution had made its case and that the defence had failed to prove that Took Leng How (left), from Penang, was suffering from a mental condition at the time of the crime.
The smile that Took, a vegetable packer, had been wearing through most of the trial faded when the translator explained the penalty to him.
His family from Penang, including his bawling baby son, was also in the courtroom.
His parents and wife were given time to see him in private after the sentencing.
Took's lawyer Subhas Anandan told reporters that his client was planning an appeal against the death sentence, mandatory for murder in Singapore.
Took has 14 days to appeal.
Accounts of the case portrayed him as a friend of the victim and her mother but suspicion fell on him after he fled Singapore during the investigation before finally giving himself up in Malaysia.
Took’s lawyers had argued that he was suffering from schizophrenia, a mental disorder that substantially clouded his judgment.
His lawyers built his defence on his psychiatrist's testimony.
Eight-year-old Huang Na’s half-decomposed body was found packed into a cardboard box left on a hilly slope in Telok Blangah Hill Park.
The murder took place at the nearby Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre storeroom.
The girl was reported missing on Oct 10 and her body found on Oct 31.
She spent a lot of time around the Pasir Panjang wholesale market, where her mother Li Qiuying, 32, worked.
Li was a peidu mama, one of the many mainland Chinese women working here to accompany a child studying in a Singapore school. – Agencies
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