|www.corpun.com : Archive : 2013 : SG Judicial Jul 2013|
Corpun file 24549 at www.corpun.com
The Straits Times, Singapore, 3 July 2013, p.B7
'Director' of loan-shark team gets jail, caning
By Khushwant Singh
LOAN-SHARK runner Se Wei Kuang was jailed yesterday for leading a team that harassed debtors by scrawling graffiti, splashing paint and sealing their main gates with bicycle locks.
The Malaysian was sentenced to four years and four months in prison, 24 strokes of the cane and a $150,000 fine after sending nine of his countrymen to target victims across the island.
By the time he was arrested in April, he had already sent them on 37 missions.
Se, 23, helped his loan-shark boss by texting debtors' addresses to his team of runners, who are aged between 17 and 47. He also uploaded the pictures they took of the homes onto an online storage facility known as SkyDrive so the unlicensed lender could check that the victims had been harassed to his satisfaction.
Se, who pleaded guilty, said he had cooperated with police, and his boss, named only as Ah Hock, had been arrested. District Judge Low Wee Ping said: "Despite your age, you specially came here to be what I call chief operating officer or director of operations to a group of Malaysians committing despicable acts of harassment. I will impose a sentence severe enough to deter people like you from committing such horrendous offences."
Assisting a loan shark carries a maximum fine of $300,000 on each count. For each charge of abetting acts of harassment, he could have been jailed for up to five years, fined up to $50,000 and given up to six strokes of the cane. Three of his accomplices have been jailed for between 15 and 42 months and given between six and 18 strokes. The others' cases have not been heard yet.
Corpun file 24637 at www.corpun.com
The Straits Times, Singapore, 17 July 2013, p.A8
Murderer escapes death sentence
Man jailed for life after discretion allowed in capital punishment cases
By Selina Lum
A 23-YEAR-OLD Malaysian man yesterday became the first convicted murderer in Singapore to be sentenced to life imprisonment instead of a mandatory death penalty.
This follows changes made to the law last year giving judges the discretion to impose either the capital punishment or life imprisonment for certain categories of murder.
The case of Fabian Adiu Edwin, a construction worker from Sabah who killed a security guard during a 2008 robbery, was the first time a sentencing judge has had a choice in deciding the sentence for murder.
In imposing life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane yesterday, Justice Chan Seng Onn considered Fabian's young age and sub-normal IQ.
Fabian was convicted of murder by the High Court in September 2011 and given the then mandatory death penalty. This was upheld by the Court of Appeal in August last year.
However, Fabian was among some 30 condemned prisoners given a lifeline when hangings were put on hold pending a review of the mandatory death penalty which started in July 2011.
In May this year, his case was sent back to the High Court judge to decide the appropriate sentence to be handed down under the amended law.
There are four clauses to cover different categories of murder. Before the changes, which came into effect in January this year, the death penalty was mandatory for all categories of murder.
Now it is mandatory only for Section 300(a), which involves acts carried out with the intention of causing death. It is discretionary for other clauses.
Fabian was convicted under Section 300(c), for having acted with the intention of causing bodily injury which would ordinarily be sufficient to cause death.
On Aug 23, 2008, Fabian and an accomplice attacked and robbed 35-year-old Loh Ee Hui at a Sims Avenue bus stop. Fabian struck Mr Loh's head forcefully three times with a piece of wood, pushed and tripped him, and stepped on his chest.
They took the victim's mobile phone and wallet containing $6 and an ez-link card. Mr Loh died in hospital that evening from skull fractures.
Fabian's accomplice, Ellarry Puling, a 27-year-old cleaner also from Sabah, has been sentenced to 19 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for a lesser charge of robbery with hurt.
Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Seraphina Fong sought the death penalty, arguing this was a case that "outrages the feelings of the community".
She argued that Fabian was vicious in targeting Mr Loh's head and striking the defenceless victim from behind with great force.
The DPP pointed to the brazenness of carrying out an attack in a public place and that the brutal assault was prompted only by greed over a mobile phone.
But Fabian's lawyer Anand Nalachandran argued that when there is a choice, "life is the preferred option, death is the last resort".
Fabian was only 18 years old at the time and was found to have an IQ in the low-average range of 77 to 85, he noted.
Separately, hearing dates have been fixed next month for the resentencing of two other convicted murderers. Bijukumar Remadevi Nair Gopinathan killed a Filipino prostitute in 2010 and Malaysian Jabing Kho bashed a Chinese national to death in 2008 while robbing him.
Corpun file 24636 at www.corpun.com
The Straits Times, Singapore, 18 July 2013, p.B10
Man's face slashed over 'ugly' remark
Ex-offender jailed for leaving victim with 15cm cut and attacking 2 others
By Elena Chong
A YOUNG man was slashed across the face simply because he once called his attacker ugly in front of a girl, a court heard yesterday.
Mr Ramsharan Pillai, 20, was smoking outside a pub when he was recognised by his assailant -- a tagged former offender with a string of offences to his name.
"You said I am ugly, is it?" the knife-wielding 22-year-old asked in Tamil before slashing Mr Pillai from his left ear to his jawbone.
Yesterday, Vicneswaran Subramaniam -- who also carried out unprovoked attacks on two other men -- was sentenced to 3½ years in jail and nine strokes of the cane.
The court heard he committed the offences last year after being released from the Reformative Training Centre on a tagging scheme.
On July 14, he noticed Mr Pillai outside Dreamz Pub at Boat Quay.
Vicneswaran -- who had removed his electronic ankle tag -- remembered that the victim had once called him "ugly-looking".
He slashed Mr Pillai's face with the foldable knife -- leaving a 15cm cut -- before fleeing.
A medical report said the victim may require scar therapy or surgery.
The court heard that Vicneswaran carried out a separate assault on Indian national Rajdeep Singh, who was sleeping on a stone bench with his mobile phone on his chest.
After noticing the 30-year-old construction worker's handset, Vicneswaran decided to try to steal it. But Mr Singh woke up and an argument broke out.
Vicneswaran punched him in the face, while an accomplice knifed him in the back, the court heard.
Mr Singh suffered injuries including a broken nose and a stab wound during the Aug 26 attack, which happened outside Dhoby Ghaut MRT station.
Vicneswaran assaulted his other victim, Mr Kugan Kesavan, after pestering him with prank calls.
After the second call, the conversation degenerated into an exchange of insults and vulgarities.
Mr Kugan, 24, hung up on Vicneswaran.
The pair later agreed to meet at a park next to Republic Polytechnic in Woodlands, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Chloe Lee.
But before going to see his victim, Vicneswaran went home and picked up a bread knife.
He used it to slash Mr Kugan, who was sitting in his van.
The victim ended up with cuts to his legs after he raised them in self-defence during the July 7 attack.
Vicneswaran, who has a one-year-old child with his fiancee, pleaded guilty to charges including causing grievous hurt, removing his tag and consuming methamphetamine.
In his written mitigation plea, he pledged to study for his N or O levels while in prison and to take up programmes to improve his skills.
His previous offences include cheating by impersonation, affray and robbery with hurt.
In 2009, he was sentenced to reformative training, a strict regime that involves spending between 18 months and three years behind bars.
Yesterday, District Judge Jasbendar Kaur said she agreed with the prosecution that Vicneswaran's crimes were of a very serious nature.
She added: "The callous manner in which you committed the offences, the indiscriminate manner in which you used the weapon in attacking the victims is something that I need to take into account."
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