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February 24, 2003

Deaf mute 'bashed to death over a windscreen'

From: Straits Times, Singapore - 24 Feb 2003

By Selina Lum

INCENSED with a passerby who hit the windscreen of his car, a crane operator pursued a man who seemed to be accompanying him and allegedly beat him to death, the High Court heard yesterday.

It was only later that the assailant learnt that the man he had allegedly bludgeoned to death was a deaf mute, the court heard.

Tan Chun Seng, 28, who is being tried for murder, had parked his month-old Nissan Sunny, which he had bought second-hand, by the side of Dunlop Street in Little India on June 30, 2001.

At about 10.40 pm, Mr Krishnan Sengal Rajah and another man, who was wearing a black T-shirt, walked past Tan.

The man in black, who appeared to be drunk, had hit his car and gestured to him to get out, Tan said in his statement to the police.

Tan got out to confront the man, but he lost sight of him, as the two men had started to go their separate ways.

So he went after Mr Krishnan, 44, an odd-job worker, hurling vulgarities at him and asking him to stop.

Eventually, Mr Krishnan came to a stop, turned around and faced Tan, who continued to abuse him and demanded an explanation. It is not known how Mr Krishnan, though a deaf mute, knew Tan was behind him.

Mr Krishnan then pushed Tan down and continued walking.

A very angry Tan grabbed a pole lying by the side of the road, ran after Mr Krishnan and allegedly attacked him from behind.

Tan told the police that he continued hitting the man even when he was on the ground because he was worried that the larger man would overpower him.

Mr Krishnan was pronounced dead at about 11 pm. An autopsy found that he died from severe head injuries, which were consistent with a blunt instrument striking him on the right side of his head.

In his police statement, Tan said that he did not mean to kill Mr Krishnan and only wanted to teach him a lesson. The trial continues.

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