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Judicial CP - June 2000
The Straits Times, Singapore, 22 June 2000
Jail, caning for trio who beat up lawyer at movie
Conduct shows disturbing disregard for the law, says judge
By Karen Wong
THREE youths who beat up a lawyer who ticked off their friend for using his mobile phone during a movie were each sentenced yesterday to 15 months' jail and three strokes of the cane.
Teo Bee Keong, 21, Soh Wee Ping, 20, and Yong Thiam Hock, 19, all full-time national servicemen, had ganged up with their friend, Kwek Cheng Siang, 18, to assault Mr Gerald Khor Guan Yu, 30, after the movie, last December.
District Judge Siva Shanmugam, said on sentencing them: "Your conduct in assaulting the victim in a public place over the mere matter of an exchange of words betrays a disturbing disregard for the law."
"Any sentence passed by this court must reflect that such crimes of violence will not be tolerated by our society."
He said the courts took a serious view of their premeditated gang assault.
Teo, Soh and Yong were convicted on June 17, after a nine-day trial, of grievously hurting Mr Khor and dislocating his shoulder.
Kwek, who threw the first punch, and who had pleaded guilty earlier in April, was sentenced to 12 months' jail and three strokes of the cane.
His jail term is three months shorter than those imposed on his friends.
From past cases, accused persons who claim trial face heavier punishments than those who plead guilty from the outset.
The assault took place at about 2.30 am on Dec 26 last year, at level 6 of Plaza Singapura Shopping Centre.
During the movie, Mr Khor had twice told Kwek to stop talking on his mobile phone.
The second time, he also told Kwek to leave the cinema if he wanted to continue talking, and they argued.
After the movie, Kwek confronted Mr Khor but Mr Khor told him he did not have time for him. He ignored Kwek even after Kwek kicked him on the back.
Later, Mr Khor and his girlfriend, teacher Ethel Chong, 29, took a wrong turn and, on turning back, ran into Kwek and his friends again.
An argument followed and, suddenly, Kwek lunged forward and punched Mr Khor in the face.
Mr Khor crouched down, while blows "rained on his back". He did not see who else attacked him but Miss Chong said Teo and Soh did, while Yong held on to her arm as she shouted for help.
Lawyers David Rasif, Denis Tan and Edmond Pereira, who represented Kwek's friends, said their clients did not attack Mr Khor
The judge decided otherwise.
Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor James Lee asked for a deterrent sentence, saying that the attack was to "seek revenge".
All that Mr Khor had done, he said, was to address an inconsiderate, anti-social act by Kwek, and this "civic-mindedness" was greeted with a violent attack.
Teo, Soh and Yong are appealing against their convictions. Meanwhile, they are out on $12,000 bail each.
Afterwards, when The Straits Times contacted Mr Khor, he said: "This is a message to whoever might be in the same situation. You've got to exercise some self-control."
Copyright © 2000 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
The New Paper, Singapore, 22 June 2000
The Straits Times, Singapore, 24 June 2000
Indian nationals get jail, cane for robbery
The trio targeted fellow countrymen working here, assaulting and hurting their victims while robbing them
By Elena Chong
THREE Indian nationals, who picked mainly on their own kind by robbing and assaulting them in the Serangoon Road area, were each given a jail term ranging from 69 months to 84 months yesterday and ordered to be caned the maximum 24 strokes.
They were found guilty, after a 3½-day trial, of robbing construction worker Rama Samy Vellaiyan, 30.
Selvam Raja and Chandran Saravanan, both 24-year-old illegal immigrants, and Chelliah Saravanan, 23, a construction worker, robbed Mr Rama on Jan 30 of a $340 gold chain at Upper Weld Road in Little India while slapping and kicking him.
After their conviction by District Judge Rahim Jalil, they pleaded guilty to various other similar charges of robbing and hurting other victims in areas nearby.
Pressing for a stiff sentence, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sandra Tsao Chieh Chi said the three were part of a gang which targeted lone Indian nationals. They had shown no remorse by claiming trial and had wasted the court's time, she said.
Asking for the maximum sentence of caning plus a long jail term for the three, the DPP said that Selvam and Chandran had committed two robberies on Feb 2.
In one, while the two were robbing shop owner Rama Konar Muthiah, 68, on Norris Road, Chandran even used his teeth to pull the victim's ring off his finger. Later that day, they were spotted by the victim while they were trying to pawn the ring, but they managed to slip away.
The same day, Selvam and Chandran also robbed and punched Sri Lankan student Samarasinghe Sujith Nishantha, 23. At about 11 pm on Feb 10, all three robbed Bangladeshi Radan Miah Abu Kali, 25, of his gold chain at Syed Alwi Road, after kicking and punching him on the neck.
A 24-year-old Indian national also ended up as their victim. They robbed him of his $450 mobile phone and punched him.
But the three were caught while trying to rob another victim in Yio Chu Kang on Feb 19.
Chelliah, who was convicted on three charges of robbery with hurt and one of causing hurt, was sentenced to a total of five years and nine months in jail and 24 strokes of the cane.
Selvam and Chandran were dealt with for illegal entry into Singapore and on four counts each of robbery with hurt. They each received seven years' jail and 24 strokes.
Copyright © 2000 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
The Straits Times, Singapore, 29 June 2000
Jail, cane for man who beat up molester
Construction worker, 21, was so angry with 69-year-old man who molested his girlfriend that he took the law into his hands and broke the man's ribs
By Elena Chong
LAST Christmas, a young construction worker beat up a 69-year-old man for molesting his girlfriend.
Yesterday, a district court sentenced Ong Tek Ping, 21, a Malaysian, to 10 months' jail and three strokes of the cane for breaking Mr Poo Kok Hin's ribs in the incident at a food court in Marina South.
Mr Poo had been let off with a stern warning by the police for the molest.
He had also signed a statutory declaration last month saying that he accepted Ong's offer to pay him $1,300 in compensation for his medical bill, and that he agreed not to proceed against Ong. This was presented in court by Ong's lawyer, Mr Wilfred Goh Boon Cheong, as part of his mitigation yesterday.
The prosecution, however, went ahead and charged Ong with causing grievous harm.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Wong said that Ong was on the dance floor at the Canto pub in Marina South when he saw Mr Poo hug his 20-year-old girlfriend and touch her shoulder.
Ong went up and pulled the man away.
Mr Poo left for the food court next door.
Ong was still furious. When he left the pub and saw Mr Poo sitting next door, he grabbed a chair and hit Mr Poo in the back.
When Mr Poo fell, Ong kept kicking him till friends stopped him.
A passing policeman saw the fight and detained Ong.
Mr Poo was admitted to hospital for injuries on his forehead and right forearm, and for broken ribs.
Mr Goh said in mitigation that Mr Poo was drunk and although told to behave, continued to molest the woman.
He argued that Ong was only exercising his lawful right of private defence when protecting his girlfriend.
Pressing for a stiff sentence, DPP Wong said that there were aggravating factors.
She said that Ong had enough time to think things through, but opted for revenge and took the law into his own hands.
The DPP argued that he used excessive force on the victim, who was unarmed, and showed no mercy.
District Judge Khoo Oon Soo said he understood that Ong was affected by how his girlfriend had been molested, but agreed with the DPP that there were aggravating factors in this case.
Ong, who has been remanded for 1½ months, could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined or caned.
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