Public Prosecutor v Blaise B.
 3 SLR 69
Suit No: CC No 666/2013
Decision Date: 12 December 2013
Court: Court of Appeals
Coram: B. K. Beaudoir J
Counsel: G. Bozo for the Prosecution, Renagaresh Bhulimio S.C. for the Accused
Criminal Law - Offences - Murder - Defence of grave and sudden provocation - Two requirements for defence - Subjective requirement that accused deprived of self-control by provocation - Objective requirement that 'grave and sudden' provocation exists based on 'reasonable man' test
Criminal Law - Offences - Murder - Defence of grave and sudden provocation - Applying the 'reasonable man' test - Whether basis exists for interfering with trial judge's decision that provocation grave and sudden - s 300 Exception 1 Penal Code (Cap 224)
1. Ms Lurveit Ima Ho, aged 25 ('D1') first came to know the Accused, Blaise B., through a personal advertisement which the Accused had posted up on a relatively popular internet website, Craigslist. Though D1 was, at all material times, living with her long-time partner Ms Clitty Li, aged 27 ('D2') in their rented apartment at Block 69 East Coast Road, Singapore ('the premises'), a wild and frenzied love affair between D1 and the Accused ensues.
2. On or about 6 January 2009, sometime between 11.30 pm and midnight, loud gunshots were heard from the apartment both D1 and D2 shared. According to an eyewitness' account, the Accused was seen stumbling out from the apartment soon after the gunshots with his pants around his knees. It was also reported that the Accused had, in his attempt to flee the scene of the crime, 'stumbled around like a headless chicken' as he made his way down the stairs.
3. D1 and D2 were both found dead in the master bedroom with multiple gunshot wounds to their bodies. There was no evidence of a struggle in the apartment. Dr Philly Shiotz, Consultant Forensic Pathologist with the Centre for Forensic Medicine, Health Sciences Authority, performed the autopsy on both D1 and D2 at about 5am the same day . Based on his findings, the cause of D1's and D2's death were certified as follows:
D1 - Acute Haemorrhage due to gunshot wound of the heart
D2 - Severe brain damage due to gunshot wound to the frontal temporal lobe
4. Police investigations led to the arrest of the Accused on Friday, 13 February 2009 and the Accused was charged as follows:
"That you, Blaise B. (aka Niggaz on Parole) on the 6th day of January 2009 between 11.30pm and 12 am, at Blk 69 East Coast Road, Singapore, did commit murder by causing the death of one Lurveit Ima Ho, f/25, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 302 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224."
"That you, Blaise B. (aka Niggaz on Parole) on the 6th day of January 2009 between 11.30pm and 12 am, at Blk 69 East Coast Road, Singapore, did commit murder by causing the death of one Clitty Li, f/27, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 302 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.
5. It is undisputed that the Accused had, at the aforesaid premises, produced an illegal firearm and opened fire at both D1 and D2, thereby causing their untimely deaths.
The Prosecution Evidence
5. The prosecution led evidence by way of conditioned statements from 48 witnesses and oral evidence from one witness. There was little debate on the evidence presented by the prosecution and the material aspects thereof can be summarised as follows.
7. According to oral evidence of the prosecution's witness, Ms Zizi, whom we understand was recently gunned down by an unknown assailant in a public toilet situated somewhere in Geylang, the relationship between D1 and the Accused had soured sometime in November 2008. D1 had confided in Ms Zizi that the Accused was no longer able to 'satisfy' her sexual needs. Ms Zizi was further told by D1 that she had, on several occasions, caught the Accused masturbating in front of the fridge with a chicken carcass in hand. Concerned and embarrassed, D1 had confronted the Accused with advice to seek psychiatric help, to which the Accused promptly brushed aside unheeded.
8. It was only until the unusual habits of the Accused, which had by that time, deteriorated to such degree that he was seeking sexual gratification through the use of cabbage leaves, did D1 finally decided to take matters into her own hands.
9. Based on hand phone records obtained by investigating officers, the Accused was called to the apartment sometime around 10.30pm. At 11.15 pm, the Accused arrived at the scene of the crime. It is not known whether D2 was in the apartment at the time of the Accused's arrival. However, according to several eyewitnesses around neighboring blocks, D2 was seen returning to the apartment sometime about 11.30 pm.
10. The cautioned statement as well as the long statement recorded from the Accused were admitted in evidence as being voluntarily made without any objection from the Accused or his counsel. Insofar as is material, the gist of the said cautioned statement as well as the material portions of the long statement are summarised as follows:
(a) D1 had, against the will of the Accused, tethered him to the bed by way of leather straps shortly after he arrived at the apartment. According to the Accused in his statement, D1 had intended to insert a raw carrot into his anus.
(b) D1 was in the act of removing the Accused's pants when D2 stepped into the master bedroom.
(c) A heated argument ensues between D1 and D2 and the Accused, whose presence was momentarily ignored, manages to chew his way through to freedom.
(d) Greatly disturbed by what D1 had intended to do to him, the Accused took his pistol out (which was hidden in the pocket of his jacket) and opened fire, taking D1 down before proceeding to shoot D2.
The Defence Case
11. The evidence given by the Accused was brief and concise. He admitted to the killing of both D1 and D2 but pleaded not guilty to murder in reliance on the defence of provocation and diminished responsibility under Exception 1 of Section 300 of the Penal Code (Chapter 224) insofar as to attribute his loss of self-control on the failings of modern society.
12. Not only has the Accused elected to testify, he has, in the stead of his solicitors, conducted his closing submissions at the trial of this matter.
13. Though belated at this juncture, I find it pertinent to address the issue of the Accused choosing to conduct his closing submissions himself. Whether out of foolhardiness or arrogance on the part of the Accused, it is not my place to say, but it is my duty to express my concerns at such an ill-advised approach. It is rather alarming that the Accused's solicitors have failed to dissuade their client from committing such a folly, considering the gravity of the situation. Mind you, the Accused's life is hanging by a thread, and we are all aware that under the laws of Singapore, more effort is needed to pop a girl's cherry than it does to snap that thread.
14. Be that as it may, as convoluted as it was entertaining, the crux of the Accused's submissions is that his aggression had been the product of the environment he grew up in, amongst other factors and influences fuelled by the failings of modern society, and in consequence a characteristic, of which the Court should take account when assessing his loss of self-control.
15. First off, it is with utmost regret that I admit that this over-debated theory leaves much room for argument. Personally, I do not reject the idea that a person, so exposed to the depravities of his fellow beings and the gradual decline of our moralistic values, may be so conditioned in such matter that it becomes an indelible imprint on that person's character. However, I am persuaded to think that it is ultimately a personal choice to allow this debasement of ethics to be replicated by way of an deviant act.
16. If immorality, along with all other choices, is caused through hereditary and environmental means, might not the same be said for the laws that govern this land, which ultimately serve to protect the rights of its citizens. Unless proven otherwise, the laws of nature, on which our written laws have been established, are quite certainly inherent traits of all humankind. Accordingly, I am inclined to find the Accused's argument that his actions were purely a gross reflection of the unfortunate circumstances of which he had been exposed to, a weak and fallible defence. I am minded to think that the Accused was aware that what he was doing was a wrongful act, and therefore clearly mindful of the possible implications of his actions.
17. I am now invited to consider whether the provocation was sudden and grave enough to make a reasonable man act as the Accused had done so as to excuse his action.
18. As the law has developed, there are two distinct requirements for the provocation defence to apply: first, a ‘subjective’ requirement that the accused was deprived of his self-control by provocation; and secondly, an ‘objective’ requirement that the provocation should have been ‘grave and sudden’. The latter requirement involves the application of the ‘reasonable man’ test accepted in Vijayan v PP  2 MLJ 8 at p 12; [1975-1977] SLR 100 at p 107 and cited in Ithinin bin Kamari v PP  2 SLR 245 at p 250:
In our judgment, under our law, where an accused person charged with murder relies on provocation and claims the benefit of Exception 1 of s 300, the test to be applied is, would the act or acts alleged to constitute provocation have deprived a reasonable man of his self-control and induced him to do the act which caused the death of the deceased and in applying this test it is relevant to look at and compare the act of provocation with the act of retaliation.
19. Whether provocation is ‘grave and sudden’ enough to prevent an offence from amounting to murder is a question of fact, as stated in the Explanation to Exception 1 of s 300; this includes the question of whether the Accused had demonstrated the level of self-control to be expected of an ordinary person. Given the circumstances noted above, the Accused must have been in an emotional, vulnerable state of mind when he was told by D1 that she was going to 'fuck him senseless' with the carrot, which she had warmed up in the microwave oven moments before. Further, considering the fact that the Accused is a music recording artist known for his deplorable attitude towards the female sex, he would have felt emasculated by D1's actions and that would have tipped him over the edge. It is, however, most unfortunate that D2 had been present at the scene at that time. Her life could have been spared if she had not returned to the apartment when she did.
20. Therefore, the Accused is hereby convicted on a reduced charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Final Appeal for the Record (Label):
State of New York
Jefferson Washington Lincoln Carver
Aka: Blaise B/Niggaz on Parole
Docket #: 10098765
Excerpt of certified court transcript (pages 1624-1628):
Jefferson Washington Lincoln Carver addresses the court:
who value the lives of their families
beyond the mere gavel of law, I ask you:
What is innocence?
Do we not all bear the mark of Cain?
Are the sins of the ancestors not visited upon the children?
If I am not my brother’s beeper,
can’t I, at least, be his supplier.
What guilt is there in that?
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury,
‘Twas not I who pulled the trigger.
I was at my Auntie’s playing Grand Theft Auto with my cuz.
For argument’s sake, forget my alibi.
‘Twas society. Yea, she is the nefarious villain you seek!
She is the trigger happy bitch that has brought me before you today.
I swear it upon my loins.
Nay, peeps, I swear it upon my very crotch
that hath launched a thousand quips
and knocked up that be-otch Helen
bareback on her high Trojan horse.
My childhood was not coddled with frills of Fisher-Price
nor with the dulcet tones of Baby Mozart.
My rattle was still attached to a snake.
My music was the wail of police sirens
and the staccato clap of gun fire
arising from domestic disturbances in the hood.
You see…my moms was a crack ho’.
Give me pause, good friends,
as I reflect upon her saintly semblance.
It is misted in memory
like morn beneath the Brooklyn Bridge
or Dian Fossey’s silverback gorillas
playing hide the banana.
My moms hit the pipe
like Mike McGuire hit home runs on the juice
and dragged my ass from trick to trick.
Child Services took me from her diligent care
when I was but a tot in an Armani running suit.
To what end?
I was shuffled through the foster care system,
weaned on neglect and nurtured on abuse.
Today, I wear these childhood wounds as medals.
I am not covetous of bling, but I wear it.
My desire doth not dwell on Nike Airs, I just do it.
Is it not the fashion of a man to be fashionable?
To be arrayed in the silken threads and primped with pimpish hats
Who’s pluck’d feathers would shame the Bird of Paradise
In all its plum’d puffery.
Jurors, my only sin be this…
I covet the attention I was denied as child --
I yearn for the tenderness of a mother’s caress
The slam dunk lessons of a heroic father.
Hath not my wounds given me the merit
To covet no less? If offense be taken,
I, too, shall wear that affront as an honor --
A medal from the frontlines of urban warfare.
In this naked simulacrum of Law and Order
We can no longer speak of perps’ and vics’,
For victims we are all:
Victims of Madison Avenue
Who make us crave
The shit we need not.
Victims of the media
Who elevate celebrity,
Pathetic parrots of rote,
To near divinity.
Victims of Darwinian capitalism,
That makes short-shrift of our humanity.
Victims of ‘the man’,
Yes, you crackers in the robes,
Who sat our black asses
On the back of the bus for so long
It left indelible marks
In the upholstery of our souls.
Who in this courtroom
Is not a victim?
Come forth, I pray thee!
Let them cast the first stone
And beat the soot off my weary soul.
Let him render the eye-for-an-eye justice
That leaves the world blind.
No takers? No volunteers?
That’s because, your Honor, there are no perps.
We live in a perp’less society!
God is dead and our lives are perp’less!
We are all innocent.
“Who is innocent,” I ask you.
And I answer…
All of us!
Every fucking one of us!
Yea, ‘Twas Society who pulled the trigger,
Find society guilty and by this fair construct you will be compelled to bear witness to my innocence.
I pray thee, season thy justice with mercy, for in your zeal to dispense the former, you shall make orphans of all.
In summation, a wise man once said,
‘The quality of mercy is not strain’d.”
I add, Nor can innocence be feign’d.
Behind Justitia’s blindfold it is writ:
‘We are victims all’,
You are not god, you are not my Lord;
You are a beast that corrupts my soul;
I find peace not, when I pray in thee;
You have tainted my soul--you have hurt me.
You are a fiend, just like all my friends;
You are tied to an awkward time and space.
And is your soul as sharp as your false prayers?
I can find words that shall hear me better.
You are no safety, nor any assurance;
I hate your speech--within your cold Bible;
You are not worthy of love, nor any true spirit;
You are a mere space no sane souls can ever meet.
I used to know, in Heaven, another Lord;
But my faith was marred, it was distorted.
This Lord of mine was kind and simple;
His heart was all-resilient and humble.
My Lord was gone in one sway of smoke;
As none wanted to hear more from me.
I was strong in faith--and t'is was no joke;
But none would look, and pushed Him fast away.
Ah, my Lord, in whom I used to hear salvation;
And not grief like this which burns my heart.
I found within me--a great deal of admiration;
But none would believe, and He was made gone.
I knew another, in more mature years;
But He was as crude as a grizzly bear.
With His soulless heart, he tore my faith up;
'Till my heart withered, and nothing remained.
He preached but the beauty of wealth;
And to forge maturity on this dire soil;
He turned one another an enemy;
He played with fate, as if ‘twas His doll.
I was in deep grief, I was in bare crises;
I believed not the sun sets and the moon rises.
Ah, Lord, and after I lost thee even more;
I roamed sightlessly like none before.
And now I’th been forced back to thee;
Art thou still hungry, or art thou satisfied?
Haven’t thou sent me enough agony;
When shall thou finally give up?
Now I hath been cramped back to thee;
Art thou still angry--doth thou want to kill me?
Thou explaineth never--why I taketh my breath;
Thou reasoneth never--what is in life after death.
For I believe triumphs are not for those who sin;
For I believe prayers are not done by the mean.
For I believe in life there is no such scarcity;
For I believe we are united by wordless destiny.
For I believe He is One; and is loved freely;
For I believe He loves back, with relentless mercy;
For I believe He is the One, and owneth no partner;
For I believe He is who rules, and not another.
For I believe none was made crucified;
For I believe He is alive, and shall never die;
For I believe such stories are all but a lie;
For He is who gives, and breathes sight to the eye.
For I believe the cross is no glory;
For I believe such is a vain myth;
For I believe He is absolute;
For I believe He is the only Truth.
And about this I can lie no more;
Nor stand back as I did before.
He is who holds my mortal hands;
He who cares better than my friends.
Still I am lost, I am lost in thee;
For thou hath betrayed my most questions.
For thou hath no words--nor poetry in me;
For thou ignore--and neglect me in disambiguation.
And I hate thee, I hate thee too much;
Thou hath blinded me and led me astray.
Thou giveth room but to desire and lust;
Thou lead my soul to ultimate decay.
Thou regard not shyness and virginity;
Thou accept not humble words and pure sympathy.
Thou encourage day and night ecstasy;
Thou disfigure us by mock forgiveness.
Thou told us to be unjust and sin;
Thou told us to pursue and be mean;
Thou loveth pleasure, and left me unsure;
Thou gave me disease, but showed me no cure.
Now I’th realised that my God is Him;
He who attends my day and night dreams.
I care not what thy devils may say;
I shall care for Him only--all through the night and day.
For the Lord who leads and forgives;
For the Lord who dies not and shall live;
For the Lord whose Throne is up high;
Veiled perfectly by the blue midnight sky.
For the Lord who creates life and death;
For the Lord who gives mouths and breath.
For the Lord who is One and only;
For the Lord who is sole and fair.
Then I can pray with my whole sane heart;
And rest my minds from this lifelong war;
My Lord is One who lets my blood flow;
Years back, presently, the day after tomorrow.
And by Him I shall remain prudent;
Though He is far and farther and invisible.
I shall long for His Paradise and Heaven;
One for the kind hearts; for the devoted and humble.
Then I shall craft even more poetry;
A poem for my Lord’s tremendous delights;
I shall make it warm and lively;
And tell tales of future years in Paradise.
And I shall turn back to Your prayers, God;
After years and years of fraying Thee alone.
Now I shall come back to my untainted faith;
Please hesitate not, nor make me need to wait.
For in You only doth I find my doors;
And answers to my once lonely heart;
I cannot lie back, I cannot lie no more;
That I and Thee can never stay apart.
And my faith will be like those stern winds;
They can be felt, while remain unseen;
Wish me a welcome, and not a farewell;
Keep me safe from Thy spells of hell.
And let me remain in my bows;
As I shout my praise, as my head goes low.
And breathe more life into my virgin hands;
Make me the noblest on my lands.
And let me remain where I am;
As stars sparkles, and lower the maroon sun;
Where I but mention Thy Holy Name;
And cite Thy praise, as daylight is gone.
(Please Read the note at the bottom)
Desert thy land, lay waste to haven
Spread thy sorrow, hath not to save him
Keep to willow with sunlight pourn
To mild temptation, mild scorn.
Keep she beauty to dusk by horse
Laying down to things by force
Stragling victor selfless mind
Keep to you hath truth hath lied.
By crowd by storm, stream agony pride
Thy land be beut for non to side
To side with hatred, iron blade
To mate and bring yet nothing fade.
She whispers deadly night to dark
Seeping mind of man to spark
Keeping kings and fellow courtly
Stranger too by fire nightly.
And taketh she to highest land
For mighty justice lays thy hand
For she hath strewn for kingdoms come
And taketh non, but frighten some.
The day of dawn, sun rise, sun set
To we thine preach to no regret
King be praised, devil blundered
Simple tricks to thy hath sundered.
Keep to crop to peasant prowl
Marking down thy land to dowl
Father pray to thine above
Graceful metaphoric love.
Final night be cold and dreary
Sight like eagle, keep to query
Dance thy drunkard, feed to Summer
Hapless end to what doth shown her.
it is said that
a prophet finds no honor
in his own country
are received as a
threatening to melt
the caked wax
blocking the closed
intolerant ears of
once found no
in his homeland
his people driven
from their land
gobbling the land
people from villages
they had occupied
since the dawn
spilling Zulu blood
into roiling rivers
petitions of the
the blood of
against the victims
by corralling them into
where rivers do not
flow, grass never grows,
game cannot graze;
only the dust doth blow
riddling the captives
with torments of
mocking the speakers
of mother tongues with
the fained eloquence
of bastardized Afrikaans
the dominion of the
and affirmed by exiling
a people from their land,
outlawing their language,
dividing the nations into
a fallacy of separate
destinies where a forgetful
history blessed with amnesia
will anoint the conquerors
with the spoils of abundance
stolen from the vanquished
Madiba spoke of these things
and was awarded a prison
cell for twenty seven years
but the hostages of
a conquerors justice
to be freed by the arrival
of an accepted truth
set free by the very words
prisons cannot contain truth
steel bars cannot imprison
the idea of divine justice
it slips through the smallest openings
like a wafting fragrance of the first day of spring
it saws away at the rust strewn steel bars
like the surest movement of a master carpenter’s arm
it melts the thickest links of iron chains
in the fiery forges that burn in the hearts
of all freedom loving people
the truth of justice
is born and takes flight
on the wings of history
covering the globes
nesting in the most
and mean estates
on God’s good earth
truth and reconciliation
can never be separated
planted together to grow
healthy nations and
trust and restoration
Madiba, you always
found honor with
the salt of the earth
the children of light
who seek to dispel
the darkness of
we continue to
walk your way
guided by your
we take the first steps
asking liberators to join
with oppressors, pairing
in a magnanimous walk
along wholesome pathways
perceiving the buena vistas
of reconciled communities
of peace, equality
and justice for all citizens
I caught a fleeting glimpse of Madiba
as he rolled by in the Canyon of Heros
showered under a June blizzard of confetti
and a resounding acclimation of love.
I was a plebe inhabiting a lower floor
Broadway office, yet my station blessedly
brought me closer to Madiba. As he passed
I was moved by his miraculous smile and felt
the colossal reverberations of his waving arm
triumphantly hailing the sweet freedom of
liberation all hostages of feigned justice
exude in the vindication of divine justice
enraptured in the joy of affirmed truth.
we are enriched
and blessed for
the time you walked
the good fight
for we shall resume
the climb to
the next mountaintop.
Well done Madiba
Rolihlahla “Nelson” Mandela
7/18/18 - 12/5/13
Ladysmith Black Mombazo
I awake beneath the midnight hour.
A barren scene, but I do not cower.
I stand alone, amongst the stars.
Bare I stand as I shed my scars.
The winter cold beneath my feet,
steadily, I await that final beat
Concluding breaths escape with ease.
A lasting thought as Death doth tease.
One last look to the stars above
Forever a portrait that I shall love.
When the stars begin to fade
I may just change my ways
Until that time doth come
I'll try and catch the sun
gazing upon the empty words
breathes life as once she read
words on a page of nothingness
found love there in its stead
to know his soul as he doth hers
love never accepts defeat
though distance mars the loving hearts
for never the twain shall meet
Once more into the pews I snore
the vicar reads what he's prepared and doth sermonise on those who dared to sleep while he was spouting verbs.
If God has seen me, he'll know how keen I am to come to church and listen to a boring man,
I'd just as soon eat all my toes and this I'm sure God also knows,
into every life the sun must shine,it's Sunday so I should not whine but stay awake and take my medicine like a man.
Another plan and one more prayer,another layer to oxidise,to find the truth between the lies,here's hoping that my eyes stay open.
God,please bless the Pope,palmolive soap,Rogers rangers,total strangers and all who sail at sea and if you have some blessings left send some of them to me.
Beware ye evil the day the sun doth sees to shine, for Celestia comes in glory divine.
cloth in fiery burning raiment, full of wrath for evils payment,
eyes once kind now full of coal...death and sorrow and woe.
Her wings once soft and gentle, now lack all things sentimental.
better would it be for evil in that day to have it's own life ended
than to find out just how hot the sun can be when focused though the horn of a goddess offended.
Oh I am proud to be a dark Poet
for dark to us is midnight
dark for dark poets
and yes I number one
Don't think I have mercy
erm... ok I have some
I live in the shadows
and Neon is my name
I am dark and will always be
sisters dark for dark poets
hush children of the word
for I will come to tell you tales
Know in my heart she doth glows
her glory and her might
dark poets dark writes
we fearlessly fight
By Christos Andreas Kourtis aka NeonSolaris