When she was warded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), she abused two employees there. She was then put in a welfare home, where she damaged a room and tried to commit suicide.
Then, while being assessed at IMH to see if she was suitable for a mandatory treatment order, Joanne Lim Wan Ting punched a nurse.
Yesterday, the 23-year-old was sentenced to five months’ jail for a string of misdemeanours, including two counts of voluntarily causing hurt and one count of wilfully destroying the property of a welfare home.
Lim has borderline personality disorder, where one has difficulty regulating their emotions, but is understood to have been of sound mind during the offences.
Last November, Lim punched and pulled the hair of IMH nurse Thein Thein Moe, 44, when the latter was trying to stop her from banging her head on a glass counter because she was angry the nurse could not immediately attend to her.
In March, while living at the Angsana Home @ Pelangi Village in Buangkok Green, she was taken to a padded cell for safety reasons after shouting and throwing her food on the floor. Lim tore fabric off the wall lining and tried to strangle herself with it.
On April 13, Lim punched the head of IMH senior staff nurse Lim Theng Theng, 61, multiple times because she was unhappy staying at IMH and the nurse would sometimes scold her for not behaving herself.
At the time, Lim was being assessed for suitability for a mandatory treatment order.
In court yesterday, Lim told State Courts judge May Mesenas that she was sorry and was unsure where she would be living after her release from prison. She also agreed to cooperate if she were to be admitted to a welfare home again.
Asked about its standard procedures when staff members are assaulted at work, an IMH spokesperson said employees may lodge a police report.
“The management of IMH will not tolerate any form of abuse on our staff, be it verbal or physical,” she said. “However, sometimes, patients who hit our staff may be very unwell and have no insight into their actions. In such cases, our staff would usually choose not to make a police report.”