Repeat offender, who drugged and stole from elderly women at polyclinics, sentenced to corrective training in Singapore

Oh Koon Shin, 59, would offer women drugs on the pretense of helping them ease their pain. He would steal from them while they were drowsy. — TODAY pic
Oh Koon Shin, 59, would offer women drugs on the pretense of helping them ease their pain. He would steal from them while they were drowsy. — TODAY pic

SINGAPORE, Aug 8 — A 59-year-old man was sentenced to seven years’ corrective training, a harsher form of imprisonment, yesterday for his second conviction of drugging vulnerable women in order to steal from them.

Oh Koon Shin was jailed for two years in 2013, after preying on two women over two days at Jurong Polyclinic in December 2012.

Back then, he had convinced a 62-year-old retiree to take diazepam, a stupefying drug, before taking her jewellery after she became drowsy. 

He also stole a necklace from another woman after he asked her to take two pills.

For his most recent offences, he targeted two victims at Queenstown Polyclinic last year using a similar approach. 

Oh pleaded guilty earlier this year to three charges each of theft and causing hurt by means of poison. Five other similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

Corrective training, which is typically given to habitual offenders, carries a minimum five-year jail term and early release for good behaviour is not allowed.

What happened

The court heard that Oh first targeted a 72-year-old retiree on July 6 last year. 

She gave him her address after he told her that he had some medication for the pain in her leg. 

Three days later, he visited her at 11.30am and offered her zopiclone, a stupefying drug, under the guise of easing her pain.

The woman, who was alone at home, grew dizzy and fell asleep on her living room sofa. 

Oh then ransacked her furniture and left with S$1,000 (RM3,050), 800 renminbi (RM481), and jewellery including a bracelet worth S$6,000 and a necklace worth S$2,000.

The victim woke up only at 5.30pm and her daughter called the police at 8.30pm.

Two months later, on September 7, Oh went to Queenstown Polyclinic and overheard a 73-year-old bus attendant talking to her friends about a pain in her neck.

He approached her after noticing a jade pendant on her necklace.

She took the zopiclone he offered to ease her pain, then became lightheaded. He took her out of the polyclinic and stole several of her belongings including the necklace, valued at S$6,000, and her Pioneer Generation Ez-link transport card.

Observing that she was feeling drowsy, Oh asked a passer-by to call an ambulance.

The victim was taken to the National University Hospital (NUH) where she realised her belongings were missing. She later filed a police report.

Her granddaughter also told the police that the day after the incident, she saw Oh outside their flat with a bunch of keys he had stolen from the victim. 

However, he was unable to find one that could unlock their door.

Oh also stole S$2,000 and a bracelet from a 71-year-old hawker stall owner on September 9 last year.

He saw a stack of cash in her handbag when she opened it to retrieve her mobile phone while waiting for Queenstown Polyclinic to open.

He followed her inside, took the cash when she was not looking, and offered her zopiclone so that she would not notice what he did.

Thinking he was a polyclinic employee, she took the drugs. 

He stole the jewellery from her when she became drowsy, then took her out of the polyclinic and hailed a taxi to take her to NUH.

For causing hurt by means of poison, he could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined or caned. However, offenders above 50 years old cannot be caned by law.

He could also have been jailed up to three or seven years or fined, or both, for theft. — TODAY

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