Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 01/25/2013 03:32 | By Channel NewsAsia

Special hearing for woman who cheated others of luxury bags

Special hearing for woman who cheated others of luxury bags

Special hearing for woman who cheated others of luxury bags

SINGAPORE: A special hearing was held on Thursday in court to ascertain if a woman had cheated two others of their branded bags due to a mental disorder.

Thirty—one—year—old Goh Lee Yin, a former engineer, was back in court after she pleaded guilty last year to two cheating charges involving Hermes bags worth S$97,000.

The hearing, also known as a Newton hearing, was called to resolve factual issues and ascertain the correct basis for sentence.

Goh, who has a history of theft offences, was earlier diagnosed with kleptomania.

But one of her psychiatrists, Dr Tommy Tan, testified that she was suffering instead from depressive personality disorder and had poor impulse control.

He added that Goh had poor coping skills as a result and "needed to obtain luxury goods to assuage her depressive moods".

He also pointed out that Goh was fully conscious of her wrongdoings.

Dr Tan also told the court that Goh was one of his most challenging patients, and she was turned away by two psychiatrists before seeing him.

A second psychiatrist Dr Munidasa Winslow also shared the opinion that Goh exhibited depressive traits.

Similar to Dr Tan, Dr Winslow maintained that Goh was not of unsound mind during the time of her offences.

He added that Goh had to "take full responsibility because it showed the ability to think and plan."

In 2011, Goh contacted two women who had advertised online to sell their Hermes bags. She then cheated them of their bags by emailing them using fake names, and showing them fake bank transfer screen grabs.

The hearing continues on 15 February.

For cheating, Goh could be jailed up to 10 years on each charge.

— CNA/ck

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