Goh Lee Yin: a convicted kleptomaniac?!?!

Referring to this post, "Goh Lee Yin: a kleptomaniac or a thief with a good taste of branded stuff?", I'm quite puzzled on why Ms Goh Lee Yin chose to plead guilty.

She's a kleptomaniac, dammit! She should maintain the consistency of her illness.

She twice avoided jail for shoplifting, but this time she will spend time in jail for six months & also be fined $4,000!

Shouldn't she think for the future incidents when she'd be 'overwhelmed' again by her illness & thus commit another series of shoplifting?!

A kleptomaniac, who twice avoided jail for shoplifting previously, was sentenced to six weeks in jail and fined S$4,000 yesterday for her latest shoplifting spree, after the court ruled that the offence had nothing to do with her condition.

Goh Lee Yin, 30, had pleaded guilty in May to stealing a S$4,790 Chanel bag and a S$610 Emporio Armani sweater in February and December last year respectively. A third charge of stealing a Gucci dress was taken into consideration.

The former engineer, who is currently unemployed, offended again while she was out on bail awaiting sentencing - stealing S$83 worth of items from the NTUC supermarket at Ang Mo Kio Hub on June 24.

Goh had been convicted of shoplifting in 2005 and 2007 but appealed against those jail sentences. In both instances, she was given probation after being diagnosed with kleptomania.

But according to an Institute of Mental Health (IMH) report, it was unlikely that kleptomania was behind Goh's latest string of offences.

Dr Stephen Phang from IMH pointed out that Goh had chosen to steal expensive items from luxury establishments.

Kleptomaniacs tend to steal things that are "not needed for personal use" or have "little personal value", said Dr Phang.

He described Goh's latest shoplifting spree as "comfort stealing" - which is committed by people to soothe their frustrations.

Dr Phang suggested that Goh go for counselling and psychiatric monitoring as she is at risk of developing other mental disorders such as depression.

While the prosecution sought a 10-week jail term, Goh's lawyer, Mr Choo Si Sen, urged the court to sentence his client to six weeks in jail. He pointed out that Goh had learnt her lesson and could be rehabilitated. The judge backdated her sentence to June 25.

The maximum sentence for theft in dwelling is seven years in jail and a fine on each charge.

From Today, "It's not kleptomania, so she's jailed for six weeks".

Thirty-year-old Goh Lee Yin had been convicted of shoplifting on two occasions, in 2005 and 2007.

She appealed against her jail sentences in both cases, and was given probation after she was diagnosed with kleptomania.

Those with this mental disorder often display an irresistible urge to steal from others.

But the former engineer was unable to escape a jail term when she was caught stealing again, this time nearly S$8,700 worth of goods between December 2010 and last month.

That's because a report from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) revealed that it was unlikely that kleptomania was a motivating factor behind Goh's most recent string of offences.

Community Court Judge Ng Peng Hong sentenced Goh to six weeks' jail and a fine of S$4,000 after she pleaded guilty to three of four shoplifting charges.

Goh, who is now unemployed, targeted three designer boutiques and made off a Chanel bag, a Gucci dress as well as an Emporio Armani sweater in December last year.

Dr Stephen Phang, the IMH senior consultant who examined Goh, stated in his report that she shoplifted due to what he referred to as "comfort stealing".

Those who commit it do so to soothe their frustrations, explained Dr Phang.

He also pointed out that Goh had chosen to steal expensive items from luxury establishments.

Kleptomaniacs, on the other hand, tend to steal things that are "not needed for personal use" or have "little personal value", said Dr Phang.

He, however, suggested that Goh should go for counselling and psychiatric monitoring as she is at risk of developing other mental disorders such as depression.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wong Kok Weng said that Goh reoffended again on June 24 while she was out on court bail.

This time, she stole items including two magazines and some groceries from Ang Mo Kio Hub's NTUC Fairprice supermarket.

Dr Phang told the court he was unable to comment on the possible reasons for her action as he did not examine her after she committed the offence.

DPP Wong pressed for a 10-week jail sentence, saying that Goh's "pattern of reoffending is troubling" and that she had committed the crimes "out of greed".

Defence Counsel Choo Si Sen urged the court to sentence his client to six weeks' jail and pointed out that Goh has been in remand since 25 June.

Mr Choo said that with one-third remission for good behaviour, she could be released Friday so that she can continue with her psychiatric counselling.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Recalcitrant shoplifter sentenced to jail, fine".

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