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Indonesian caregiver sentenced to 1 year in prison for cutting patient's throat with knife

Indonesian held knife to elderly woman's throat when trying to retrieve passport, air ticket to home country

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Puji Lestari assaulting Wu with knife. (Yilan County Police Bureau screenshot)

Puji Lestari assaulting Wu with knife. (Yilan County Police Bureau screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An Indonesian caregiver has been sentenced to one year in prison after putting a knife to her elderly patient's neck when she was trying to gain access to her passport and air ticket.

In the Yilan County court's verdict, 31-year-old Indonesian national Puji Lestari on Aug. 8 asked the 81-year-old woman she was caring for surnamed Wu (吳) in Yilan County's Dongshan Township about the whereabouts of her passport and plane ticket, as she was anxious to return to her home country. Wu said the documents were not in her possession, and Lestari became enraged, grabbing a fruit knife from the kitchen.

Lestari can then be seen on surveillance camera footage grabbing Wu by the neck and brandishing the blade at her. Lestari then pushes Wu onto her back and begins to scrape the knife on her neck as the elderly woman begs the caregiver not to kill her.

After inflicting a nine-centimeter laceration on Wu's neck, Lestari put her in a wheelchair and began searching for her passport, reported UDN. While Lestari was distracted, Wu called for help, and her son surnamed Tsou (鄒), who lives upstairs, rushed to her aid and called the police.

Indonesian caregiver sentenced to 1 year in prison for cutting patient's throat with knife
Lestari grabbing Wu's head and threatening her with knife. (Yilan County Police Bureau screenshot)

When police arrived on the scene, they ordered Lestari to drop the knife, and she complied. Wu was quickly rushed to a hospital, where doctors sealed her wound with 12 stitches and her injuries were deemed non-life-threatening.

When questioned by police, Lestari said that her husband was preparing to remarry and she urgently needed to return home to deal with the matter. She claimed that her employers had deducted her pay and confiscated her passport and return ticket to prevent her from leaving the country.

Tsou denied that he had confiscated her passport or withheld her salary and claimed that he had assisted her in obtaining the document from the immigration office and provided her with NT$20,000 (US$719) for airfare.

Indonesian caregiver sentenced to 1 year in prison for cutting patient's throat with knife
Lestari starting to press down on Wu with blade in hand. (Yilan County Police Bureau screenshot)

After Lestari was tried for attempted murder, the court ruled that there was no serious conflict between Lestari and Wu and that her motive was only to retrieve her passport and plane ticket. Because she had placed Wu back in the wheelchair and did not continue with the assault, the court determined that she did not have the intention of murdering the woman, reported CNA.

In addition, Lestari expressed remorse after committing the crime, had been cooperative with authorities since her arrest, and had no prior convictions. With these mitigating factors in mind, the judge sentenced her to one year in prison and deportation upon the completion of her sentence.


Updated : 2022-05-29 08:19 GMT+08:00