A cargo ship cook has been sent to prison for 3 months for slashing a man’s forehead with a meat cleaver. The 56-year-old Chinese national Wang Wei had slashed a man’s head as he had poked him in the eyebrow.
The victim, 51-year-old oiler Bai Yutao had been his colleague and both of them worked together in the kitchen. The assault has exposed the skull of the victim.
The cook has pleaded guilty to the crime saying it was a grievous hurt and sudden provocation. Both the victim and the assailant have been working onboard the Panama registered vessel Guo Shun.
Both of them have been arguing since December last year. On the day of the incident on February 12th, they had been preparing dinner at the galley. While Bai has been working on cleaning the utensils, Wang chopped vegetables.
Apparently, the cook had thrown an empty steel bowl into the sink where the oiler was working, prompting a spat between the two.
Bai had then asked Wang what was his problem and used profanities against him. Wang had remained quiet during the entire verbal slur and then he argued with Bai. Both of them had continued to argue till they reached the entrance of the mess hall.
At this point, Bai had worked Wang on the eyebrow, prompting a reaction from Wang. The cook had slashed the oiler’s head with the kitchen cleaver he was holding. This left the oiler bleeding and screaming for his life while he punched the cook in retaliation.
Few of the crew members had to intervene to separate the two. Bai’s head had to be bandaged by one of his colleagues and he was taken to the hospital. There the doctors have found an open skull fracture in his head. He had to undergo 4 days of surgery. In addition to this, the victim also had bruises on his eyelid, ear and eyebrow.
During the hearing, the Deputy Public Prosecutor Hidayat Amir had asked for a jail term pointing out that the cook had attacked a vulnerable part of the body. However, the prosecutor had also noted that the incident was provoked.
The Deputy Public Prosecutor has also informed the court that no action had been taken against the victim Bai and he has left Singapore. Wang had revealed he wanted to return to China as he missed his daughter’s wedding and has to look after the health of his 80-year-old mother.
He had apologised for the scar he had made on the victim and thanked the Singapore government for Bai’s treatment. The court could have jailed Wang for 6 years or fined him $10,000 for causing grievous hurt on grave and sudden provocation.