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www.corpun.com   :  Archive   :  2002   :  SG Judicial Jul 2002

-- THE ARCHIVE --


SINGAPORE
Judicial CP - July 2002



Corpun file 9348

Borneo Bulletin, Brunei, 7 July 2002

Chatroom rapist gets 27 years

SINGAPORE (dpa) - A rapist, who used Internet chatrooms to find his young victims, was sentenced to 27 years in a Singapore prison and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane, a newspaper reported Saturday.

Tan Khay Cheong, 34, a married father of two and an information technology production supervisor with IBM, pleaded guilty to five charges, The Straits Times said. Thirteen others were also considered during sentencing.

"Your acts, to say the least, were as despicable as they were wicked and cruel," the judge told Tan.

The court heard that Tan pretended to be four different people in his interactions with a 13-year-old Singapore schoolgirl and a 22-year-old woman from Johor Baru, Malaysia.

He confused and manipulated the student by using different identities before assaulting her sexually over 15 months.

Tan claimed to be "Nick", 19, when he chatted up the girl in May 2000 and offered her money for sex, which she refused, the court was told.

He said he was Nick's father when they eventually met and accused her of prostituting herself, the prosecutor said. Finally, he pretended to be an Indonesian girl named Joan who informed the teenager online that Nick had been beaten up by his father.

Tan molested, raped and sodomized the girl, who kept agreeing to meet him out of fear he would expose her.

The second victim was tricked into believing Tan could get her a job, the court heard.

Instead, he tied her up and raped her in a hotel room.

Copyright © 2002 Brunei Press Sdn Bhd. All right reserved.




Corpun file 9423

masthead

The Straits Times, Singapore, 9 July 2002

Attack On Soccer Player

Gangsters cleared of murder, jailed for rioting

By Elena Chong
Court Correspondent

TWO youths who were on trial for the murder of a national youth soccer player yesterday escaped the death penalty after the High Court found that they had not caused the death deliberately.

Relieved relatives gather Khairul Famy's mother (above, left) in an emotional embrace after hearing the news that her son (below, front) and his friend Fazely Rahmat (below, behind) would not face penalty. -- TAN SUAN ANN

Instead, Fazely Rahmat, 21, and Khairul Famy Mohamed Samsudin, 20, were found guilty of rioting, and were each given the maximum sentence of five years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane.

In passing the sentence, Judicial Commissioner Choo Han Teck said he was satisfied that the defence had raised a reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case that the two had had a role in the murder of footballer Sulaiman Hashim, 17.

The victim was stabbed outside a pub along South Bridge Road in the early hours of May 31 last year.

The two accused, who were secret-society members, were with seven other youths when the incident took place.

Three other youths have been dealt with already.

One of them, Muhamad Hasik Sahar, 22, was convicted of causing Mr Sulaiman's death and was given a life sentence and 16 strokes of the cane.

The other two youths who played relatively minor roles in the crime - Mohammad Fahmi Abdul Shukor, 19, and Mohammad Ridzwan Samad, 20 - were each given three years' jail and six strokes of the cane.

The case involving the sixth accused, Norhisham Mohamad Dahlan, 22, is pending, while two other youths still remain at large.

Prior to the killing, the gang had gone to a pub along Mohamad Sultan Road to celebrate the birthday of one of its members.

After that, the troublemakers decided to go out and look for some action - by hunting for rival gang members at Boat Quay.

It was then that they spotted Mr Sulaiman and his two friends, who were then walking towards the City Hall MRT station. The youths attacked them viciously.

During the attack, Mr Sulaiman was stabbed to death.

One of his friends, who tried to run, was stabbed in the back and punched in the head, while the other escaped unhurt. The two accused in this case admitted punching and kicking Mr Sulaiman. However, they said they were not involved in stabbing him, and added that they did not know whether the other youths were carrying knives.

In his decision, JC Choo noted that the prosecution had concluded wrongly that the two youths had intended to 'cause hurt to the victim with dangerous weapons'.

'What was clearly made out was a common object to pick a fight or beat up some rival gang members. During the assault, dangerous weapons were used by some of the gang,' he said.

He added that there was no evidence to show that the two accused actually saw other youths using knives during the attack.

Even if they had carried on hitting Mr Sulaiman after their friends had stabbed him, he added that there was insufficient evidence to convince him beyond reasonable doubt that the two had intended to cause Mr Sulaiman's death.




Corpun file 9507

masthead

The Straits Times, Singapore, 14 July 2002

Daughter raped as revenge on wife

A MAN who raped his 13-year-old daughter three times to exact revenge on his wife was sentenced to the maximum 24 strokes of the cane on Friday.

The 38-year-old cleaner was also jailed for 24 years.

The man cannot be named, to avoid identifying his daughter.

Before passing sentence, Judicial Commissioner Tay Yong Kwang rebuked him, saying he had no one to blame but himself for committing 'a grave crime against your own flesh and blood'.

'How could your 13-year-old be responsible in any way for any alleged misconduct of the mother?

'The consequences of adult conflict must never be visited upon any child,' said the judge.

But he took into account the father's decision to plead guilty, which spared his first-born, who is mildly retarded, having to recount the episodes in court and testify against him.

The judge also noted that sexual offences committed against family members often had repercussions well beyond the trial.

The girl might feel bad that her police report sent her father to jail. Family members might blame her - unjustly - for their breadwinner being jailed.

'I certainly hope this will not be the case here as the wrongdoing was yours and yours alone,' he said.

The father had claimed in his police statement last December that he raped her to avenge the misery his former wife had caused him. At the time, the couple were going through a divorce.

The mother, 36, found out about the rape when the girl burst into tears on being told that her three siblings would not be going along with her on an outing with their father.

He raped his daughter in February, March and April last year.

The girl made a police report on July 12 last year.

Initially, her father denied the crime and even accused her of having sex with other men. Three days later, he asked his wife to cancel the police report.

In court, the father, who was unrepresented, said he was very sorry for committing the crime.

Copyright @ 2002 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.




Corpun file 9508

masthead

The Straits Times, Singapore, 16 July 2002

Jail, cane for robber who hit on foreigners

ARMED with a penknife, Siegfried Erhard Olbrich prowled Orchard Road late at night looking for foreigners to rob.

He and his accomplice struck twice in April, robbing a British man of his wallet and a Filipino woman of her handbag.

But the unemployed Singaporean, 25, was caught when five bystanders apprehended him minutes after he robbed the Filipino woman.

He was yesterday sentenced to seven years' jail and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane.

His accomplice is still at large, and some of the stolen items have not been recovered.

District Judge F.G. Remedios said Olbrich's offence was very serious as he had targeted foreigners.

This was also not his first time before the court. He was convicted of theft last September.

On April 21, Olbrich and his accomplice tackled the 32-year-old British businessman at the Orchard MRT underpass near the Tangs department store.

The man fell to the ground when they suddenly punched him from behind.

While they were kicking and punching the Briton, they grabbed his wallet which contained $330.

A week later, the two used a penknife to threaten a 41-year-old Filipino victim in Orchard Boulevard. They told her to hand over her handbag or they would cut her face.

They ran off with her bag, which contained over $2,000. But her screams attracted five men, including three students, who chased Olbrich from Orchard Boulevard to Grange Road.

Police later arrested him.

Copyright © 2002 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.



German flag Bild, Hamburg, 17 July 2002

Hartes Urteil wegen Handtaschenraubes in Singapur

Au Backe! Deutscher zu 24 Stockhieben auf nackten Po verurteilt

(plus sieben Jahre Haft)

Von Hommy Dara
Singapur

mugshot of OlbrichSie schlagen zu, bis die Haut aufplatzt, bis er das Bewusstsein verliert. Dann pflegen sie seine Wunden - und schlagen erneut zu.

Der deutsche Siegfried Eberhard O. (25) sitzt im Gefängnis des strengen Stadtstaates Singapur. Der Sohn eines Deutschen und einer Einheimischen hatte ein Portemonnaie und eine Handtasche geklaut. Beute: 1370 Euro.

Er bekam die Höchststrafe: 24 Stockhiebe auf den nackten Po und sieben Jahre Haft - wenn er die Prügelstrafe überlebt.

Ein 180 Zentimeter langer Bambusrohrstock wird in der Nacht vor der Vollstreckung der Strafe in Wasser getränkt. Damit er schwerer ist. Zeugen berichteten: "Schon nach drei Hieben ist bisher fast jeder Gefangene vor Schmerzen bewusstlos geworden."

Dann hören die Vollstrecker auf - und warten ein paar Tage, bis die Wunden wieder einigermaßen verheilt sind. So kann sich die Vollstreckung bis zu einem Jahr hinziehen.

24 Schläge sind das Höchstmaß. "Sonst könnte der Häftling sterben."

UK flag US flag Rough translation:

Hard sentence for handbag thief in Singapore

Ouch! German sentenced to 24 strokes of the cane on the bare backside (plus seven years in prison)

They strike until the skin breaks, until he loses consciousness. Then they tend to his wounds - and strike again!

The German Siegfried Eberhard O. (25) sits in jail in the strict city-state of Singapore. The son of a German and a local, he stole a wallet and a handbag. The proceeds: 1,370 euros.

He received the maximum punishment: 24 strokes of the cane on the bare bottom and seven years in prison - if he survives the thrashing.

A 180cm long bamboo cane is soaked overnight in water before the punishment. That makes it heavier. Witnesses report, "Already after three strokes almost every prisoner up to now has become unconscious from pain." Then the operator stops - and waits a few days, until the wounds are to some extent healed. So the execution of the punishment can be drawn out for up to a year.

24 strokes are the maximum number. "Otherwise the prisoner could die."

blob [NOTE BY C.F.: On this showing, the German tabloid press is no better at accurate reporting than its UK equivalent. It is entirely untrue that Singapore caning sentences are stretched out over several instalments. And "If he survives the thrashing" implies that the punishment is life-threatening; I have never heard any reports of it killing anyone. To say that the prisoner normally becomes unconscious after three strokes is a pure fabrication. Also, the article was printed against the background of an irrelevant picture of a public flogging in Pakistan, implying that Singapore canings are administered in public, which is never the case.
I notice also that the Straits Times describes him as a Singaporean, whereas Bild says he is German, and they disagree slightly about his middle name. Bild describes the crime merely as stealing, while the Straits Times makes it clear that it was armed robbery.]




Corpun file 9530

Japan Today, Tokyo, 18 July 2002

Japanese gets 8 years, 5 lashes for drug trafficking in Singapore

SINGAPORE - A Singapore court has sentenced a Japanese man to eight years in jail and five lashes of the cane for trafficking cannabis into Singapore, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Shuji Hotta, 27, a computer graphics designer, was sentenced on Monday by lower court judge Francis Remedios, his lawyer Subhas Anandan said.

Anandan said he believes it is the first time a Japanese man has been sentenced to caning in Singapore for drug trafficking.

Hotta was charged for importing about 62 grams of the drug into Singapore.

He was arrested about two months ago at the Woodlands immigration checkpoint in the northern part of Singapore as he was traveling into the country by bus from Malaysia. (Kyodo News)




Corpun file 9536

masthead

The Straits Times, Singapore, 20 July 2002

18½ years, caning for man who abused maid

By Elena Chong
Court Correspondent

A FREELANCE tour guide was yesterday jailed 18 years and six months and ordered to be caned 12 times for abusing and causing the death of his maid who had endured nine months of ill-treatment.

The sentence meted out by Judicial Commissioner Choo Han Teck is the highest a maid abuser has received to date in what has been described as the worst maid abuse case in Singapore.

Ng Hua Chye, 47, originally accused of murder, pleaded guilty on Thursday to a reduced charge of manslaughter. He was given 10 years for this offence and six strokes of the cane for causing Miss Muawanatul Chasanah's death.

On Thursday, Ng's lawyer Mr Subhas Anandan, had urged the court not to go 'overboard' by imposing life imprisonment, which is the maximum penalty for manslaughter.

JC Choo yesterday agreed, noting that the prosecution had asked not for the maximum penalty, but a 'long custodial sentence' given Ng's history of violence and cruelty.

Ng got the severest sentence to date for maid abuse, for ill-treating Miss Muawanatul till she died. -- HOW HWEE YOUNG

In deciding the sentence, he said he took into account the manner in which Ng ended Miss Muawanatul's life and the months of misery she had to endure, up to her last days.

'The picture of her beaten and undernourished body has muted the eloquence of your counsel,' said the judge who had been shown 13 photographs of the 19-year-old maid's bruised and battered body taken at the mortuary.

Ng also pleaded guilty to four maid abuse charges while another three charges were taken into consideration.

For these offences, he got another eight years and six months' jail and another six strokes of the cane.

The court heard that he assaulted the maid at both his Chai Chee home and his sister's Bedok Reservoir home, once caning her until her face became swollen - because she drank his infant daughter's apple juice.

He also scalded her on the neck and back with hot water - because he was furious that the maid used water which was too hot to bathe the child.

The maid, who worked for Ng for 16 months, was almost starved, causing her to lose 14 kg from her original 50-kg frame. She had more than 200 injuries on her body as a result of whipping, kicks, punches, burns and scalding.

The judge agreed with Mr Anandan that it was wrong to attribute the older scars found on the maid to Ng's cruelty.

But he added: 'There is little by way of mitigation that merits a lenient sentence.'

Miss Muawanatul died of peritonitis - inflammation of the inside of the abdomen - caused by perforation of her duodenum, a part of the small intestine, on Dec 2 last year at the home of Ng's sister.

The day before, Ng had punched her on the face and chest and kicked her severely on the back as he had suspected her of eating part of his infant daughter's porridge.

She suffered severe stomach pains, vomited and fainted in the kitchen.

Ng turned himself in to the police as he knew that the maid 'could die anytime'.

The father of two showed no expression as he was sentenced. But his wife, Mrs Rainbow Ng, 30, and sister, 49, both tour guides, broke down and cried.

When asked by reporters, the prosecution declined to say if any action will be taken against the two women.




Corpun file 9539

masthead

The Straits Times, Singapore, 25 July 2002

People-smuggler escaped once, but not second time

Malaysian jailed after he was caught smuggling in illegals at Tuas checkpoint, days after he evaded capture in first try

By Elena Chong
Court Correspondent

PEOPLE smuggler Mohamed Nazre Mohamed Nor should have known his number was up when he narrowly got through the Woodlands checkpoint with a boot-load of illegal immigrants.

The 23-year-old jobless Malaysian rammed through the metal barrier and, with three of his car wheels punctured by the 'cat claws' placed on the road, he sped into Woodlands town centre, chased by the police.

He abandoned the badly-damaged Proton Wira and its human cargo at a parking lot, jumped into a waiting car driven by an accomplice, and made his way back to Johor Baru.

Police gave up the chase as the carpark was blocked by early-morning traders unloading fresh produce. When they checked the Proton Wira, they found three Bangladeshis and a Myanmar national jammed inside the boot.

None of them had a passport. Each admitted paying between RM1,000 (S$460) and RM1,400 to Malaysian syndicates to be smuggled in here to look for work.

Whether Mohamed Nazre was emboldened by his narrow escape at 4.40 am on June 4 is not known. But he tried his luck again just six days later, this time at the Tuas checkpoint.

The former welder was driving another Proton Wira and he had five illegals in the boot - three Myanmar nationals and two Bangladeshis.

He arrived at the checkpoint at about 1.50 am and, after handing his passport over, went to buy a vehicle entry permit.

Immigration enforcement officers had been alerted to his presence and one of them asked him to open the boot of the car. Before Mohamed Nazre could get into the vehicle, the officer removed the ignition key.

On Tuesday, he was sentenced to a total of five years and two months in jail and 24 strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to nine charges of conspiracy with others to bring in illegals on June 4 and June 10. He also pleaded guilty to failing to stop when ordered to do so.

The court heard that Mohamed Nazre was short of money when he agreed to convey illegal immigrants to Singapore.

The crime syndicate gave him RM200 to make a Malaysian restricted passport, then one of the members brought him here to familiarise him with the route and show him where to drop off the illegals.

His accomplice also pointed out a specific parking lot near McDonald's restaurant where he could unload his human cargo. Zaki Balat, 21, has admitted to harbouring Mohamed Nazre by helping him escape from Singapore in a car on June 4.

The unemployed Malaysian has claimed trial to four charges of conspiring with others in Johor Baru to bring in the four illegal immigrants here on that day. He will take a trial date next Monday.

All of the illegal immigrants have been dealt with.

Copyright @ 2002 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.




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