Thai worker goes on trial for allegedly killing pimp
Singapore - A Thai labourer went on trial in Singapore on Monday for allegedly murdering a pimp who refused to let him have sex with a prostitute.
Singngoi Somsak was so angry when fellow Thai Jongtakhu Choochai would not allow him to have sexual intercourse with the woman, he allegedly clubbed him to death with a hammer.
In their opening statement in Singngoi's trial, prosecutors claimed the 41year-old killed Jongtakhu on October 15 last year, then fled into a forested area near a workers' dormitory in Ama Keng Road in Lim Chu Kang.
Singngoi was arrested the next day when he tried to collect his passport from his employer.
The victim, 35, was a pimp for three Thai prostitutes, said deputy public prosecutor Shahla Iqbal. Jongtakhu and the three women all stayed in makeshift huts in woodland near the dormitory.
Every night, Jongtakhu and the three women would leave the huts and wait outside the dormitory for customers. Four unused containers were turned into brothels and cardboard boxes were used as mattresses.
On the night of October 15, Singngoi was having drinks with Jongtakhu, the three women and two other workers. One of the women sidled up to Singngoi, but Jongtakhu did not allow Singngoi to go with her.
To avoid a confrontation, Singngoi's friends advised him to go back to his room. He left but returned with a hammer. As Jongtakhu spoke to some Bangladeshi workers, Singngoi allegedly hit him on the head several times. He then fled and stayed with a prostitute in Geylang.
Defence lawyer Anand Nalachandran claimed that Jongtakhu fought with Singngoi, who had a bruise on his right shoulder to prove it.
Police found a hammer outside the dormitory compound, but could not find any blood or DNA evidence on it. Blood or DNA samples could have been washed off by heavy rain before the alleged weapon was found.
Besides ethanol - a chemical commonly found in someone who has consumed alcohol - a high amount of methanol was found in Jongtakhu's blood.
Justice VK Rajah asked the lawyers to find out what effect methanol has on a person. "Since this is a capital case, we should leave no stone unturned," he said.
The trial is scheduled to last seven days and Singngoi faces the death penalty if found guilty.
by The Straits Times/Asia News Network