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Judicial CP - May 2003
Straits Times, Singapore, 3 May 2003
Good Samaritan's death: Jail for robbery mastermind
Trusted by the 73-year-old victim, Chinese national repaid his kindness by planning a robbery that caused his death
A 73-YEAR-OLD chauffeur died after being gagged, bound and stabbed in a robbery which was set up by a man he knew and trusted.
Mr Lau Kiew Kong, who lived alone at Block 545 Bedok North Street 3, was robbed of about $10,000 worth of valuables on Aug 21 last year.
Two Chinese nationals, Yang Feng, 30, and Huang Qi Wang, 36, got into the flat with a key given by Huang Shun Feng, 30, also from China.
Huang Shun Feng had made a duplicate of the key his mother used to get into Mr Lau's flat when she went there to cook and clean for him.
Mr Lau had been a good Samaritan to the robbery mastermind and his wife, who had stayed at the flat on a few occasions.
When Yang and Huang Qi Wang set upon Mr Lau at about 4 am, the old man woke up and managed to grab a curved knife lying nearby. But he was stabbed twice on the thigh during the struggle.
Huang Qi Wang wrapped blue duct tape around Mr Lau's head, covering his eyes and mouth, and bound both his hands and legs.
The men prised open a safe and took two Parker pens. They also took jewellery, three watches including two Rolexes, three mobile phones and a Dupont pen from his home.
Before leaving, Yang forced open the grille window of an adjacent room to make the robbery look like a break-in.
Police later found Mr Lau dead on his bedroom floor, with blood on his lower limbs. He had died of asphyxia.
The stolen jewellery was pawned and the proceeds shared among the three men.
Yesterday, Huang Shun Feng was sentenced to 10 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for abetting in the armed robbery with hurt.
In passing sentence, Justice Woo Bih Li said Huang Shun Feng had repaid Mr Lau's kindness to him and his wife with a crime that caused his death.
Yang, who pleaded guilty to armed robbery with hurt, overstaying and criminal breach of trust, was given nine years and 10 months in prison and 24 strokes. Huang Qi Wang's guilty plea was rejected after the accused disputed that he was armed with a knife.
Straits Times, Singapore, 9 May 2003
Vicious parang attack: Three jailed, caned
Two of them had a 'score to settle' with the victim
By Chong Chee Kin
A VICIOUS parang attack outside a cafe in the Boat Quay area last November left national serviceman Gan Toe Teck a bloodied mess.
The 21-year-old's skull was fractured in several places and he had long gashes on his cheeks, forehead and shoulders, which put him in hospital for 10 days, four of them in intensive care.
Yesterday, three youths - Yeo Meng Hwee, 23, Zhang Jian An, 19, and Fabian Ng Zhi Yong, 18 - were jailed and caned after they admitted to being involved in the attack outside Golden Cafe in Circular Road on Nov 12 and causing grievous hurt.
The trio showed no emotion and did not speak or look at one another.
Another man, Kelvin Aw Eng York, 42, whom the three claimed was their ringleader, is still at large.
The group met at Boat Quay after Zhang and Ng spotted Mr Gan there.
The duo, both unemployed, had a score to settle with the Singapore Civil Defence Force national serviceman because, they claimed, he had attacked them in October.
Aw showed up with a red plastic bag containing three parangs, a district court heard.
The group decided Ng would not join the planned attack because his bleached hair made him conspicuous, and he was told to go home. However, he tailed them.
The others grabbed a chopper each, confronted Mr Gan outside the cafe and fled.
Yeo, Zhang and Ng were caught the next day.
Lawyers acting for the three youths told the court that their clients did not plan the attack. They claimed that Aw was 'the main perpetrator' and had 'orchestrated the assault'.
Mr Paul Yong, who acted for Zhang, said the youth was 'taken aback' when he saw the parangs, while Ng's lawyer, Mr S. S. Dhillon, said his client became involved only 'in a moment of folly and weakness'.
Pleading for leniency for Yeo, lawyer Kertar Singh said the father of a two-year-old boy had no quarrel with Mr Gan. He was drawn into the incident by Aw.
Yeo, who had been convicted of being in an unlawful assembly, was jailed for three years and nine months.
Zhang, who had no previous convictions, was jailed for three years and three months.
Both were ordered to be caned nine strokes.
Ng, who had previous convictions for theft and cheating, was jailed for two years and eight months and ordered to be given six strokes of the cane.
Although he did not attack Mr Gan, he was part of the group which had intended to hurt him and, under the law, this makes him just as responsible for what happened.
Copyright @ 2003 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
Straits Times, Singapore, 15 May 2003
Robber caught, thanks to cabby who followed him
By Selina Lum
IT WAS 7 am on New Year's Day and cabby Lee Tong had just been robbed of more than $100 by a man he had picked up along Marsiling Drive.
The man had got into the taxi and directed Mr Lee to a deserted place, then pointed a pair of scissors at his waist and demanded money.
'He told me that it's New Year and he did not wish to kill anyone,' recounted the 52-year-old Comfort cabby.
Mr Lee handed over all his money, including what he had in his wallet, but the robber was still unsatisfied. He asked for the cabby's mobile phone, but Mr Lee refused to give it up.
The robber ran off into an uncompleted Housing Board block.
Mr Lee called the police. Then he calmly parked his taxi at the carpark near the block, switched off the engine, and waited.
'I was very determined to catch him. I was sure he would come out because it's an empty block.'
True enough, less than 15 minutes later, the robber walked out coolly to the main road, and flagged down another taxi.
That was when Mr Lee swung into action.
He started the engine and followed the other Comfort taxi, keeping a safe distance of about 100 m.
He called the police again, telling them that the man who robbed him had boarded another taxi.
After a 15-minute drive, the other Comfort taxi came to a stop at the service road of an HDB block in Woodlands Circle.
'I knew the other driver was being robbed. I immediately informed the police of the location.'
Meanwhile, the other taxi driver, Mr Lee Kee Soo, 56, was handing over about $20 to the culprit.
And just like before, the robber was unhappy with the figure and was demanding that the taxi driver also hand over his mobile phone.
By this time, a few police units had arrived. They surrounded the taxi and the robber was arrested on the spot.
Last Thursday, the robber, Ang Meng Hua, 28, was sentenced to six years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to two charges of armed robbery and a charge of drug consumption.
He admitted robbing Mr Lee Tong of $107.30 and Mr Lee Kee Soo of $16 and RM8.
Mr Lee Tong, who has been a cabby for three years, said it was the first time he had been robbed.
'My friends teased me, and said I was very 'suay' ('unlucky' in Hokkien) to get robbed on New Year's Day,' he said. 'But I'm grateful that I wasn't hurt.'
Straits Times, Singapore, 23 May 2003
For sex with child prostitute, man gets 12 years, 12 strokes
By Elena Chong
A 12-YEAR-OLD girl, who left Malaysia for Singapore with her mother's permission, thought she would be earning $800 a month as a maid here. But she was forced to prostitute herself instead.
Yesterday, a welder, who had sex with her, and her two pimps were convicted after a 10-day trial. Kalathithara Subran Hilan, 36, was found guilty of raping her in Geylang on two occasions - on May 10, and between May 10 and May 23 last year. The Indian national, who claimed he was not aware of her age, was her first client. He was sentenced to a total of 12 years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane.
The girl's pimps, Malaysian contractor Yong Ah Lai, 27, and lift fitter and electrician Chidamparam Palanivelu, 29, an Indian national, were convicted of conspiring to get men to rape her between May 10 and May 23.
They were helped by Yong's 23-year-old wife, Marni Konasgaran, a mother of five and a former prostitute herself, and one of her customers, Thankappan Ayyappan, 31, both of whom have been sentenced earlier. They testified for the prosecution during the trial which was heard in camera.
Yong was found guilty of getting the girl to prostitute herself at Lai Ming Hotel in Geylang Road, and living on her earnings.
He was sentenced to a total of 13 years in jail, 12 strokes of the cane and a $10,000 fine; Palanivelu got 12 years' jail and six strokes. They were all unrepresented.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Jaswant Singh, together with DPPs Janet Wang and Derek Kang, asked for deterrent sentences against the trio.
It was Konasgaran who had approached the girl's mother, whose financially-troubled family lives in a village in Johor.
She told the mother that the girl would be able to earn $800 a month in Singapore as a house maid, and the mother agreed to let the child follow Konasgaran and Ayyappan here.
They took her first to Johor Baru and then Singapore where they, together with Yong, put up at Lai Ming Hotel on May 9 last year.
The pimps told her that they could not find her a job as a maid, and that she would have to prostitute herself as they did not have any money.
When she refused, she was told she would be sent to an elderly Chinese brothel-keeper to be beaten.
For two weeks after that, she serviced 20 to 30 clients. Only Hilan was arrested as the rest cannot be traced. Anti-vice officers arrested the culprits after a tip-off that a syndicate was making a child prostitute work in Geylang.
Straits Times, Singapore, 31 May 2003
Jailed for chopper attack that occurred 8 years ago
THE long arm of the law has caught up with a man who absconded seven years ago after being charged in court with theft and stabbing someone outside a coffee shop.
He finally surrendered himself on March 5 this year - having failed to show up for a court appearance in 1996.
An arrest warrant had then been issued.
Yesterday, he was dealt with by a district judge.
Carpenter Loh Kok Siang was 17 when he attacked another teen, Mr Lee Lee Leng, also 17, with a chopper outside the coffee shop at Block 815, Jurong West Street 81, on March 27, 1995.
The court heard that Mr Lee, now 25, was having breakfast with his friends when Loh accused him of being arrogant.
Loh also wanted to know why Mr Lee was staring at him, but the latter denied having done so. Loh then went into the coffee shop, took a chopper and walked over to Mr Lee, who leapt up to flee on seeing him.
But Mr Lee slipped and fell, and was stabbed in his left buttock. Loh then threw the chopper away.
Yesterday, Loh was sentenced to 20 months in jail and four strokes of the cane for causing hurt with the chopper.
District judge Tan Puay Boon also jailed him for another six months for stealing a gold bangle and a gold chain worth $6,843 from Heng Long Goldsmiths & Jewellers in Bukit Batok Central on April 29, 1995.
In addition, Loh was given three months' jail for failing to report for a fitness test at the Central Manpower Base on July 2, 1998.
This sentence is concurrent to the first two sentences, which will run one after the other.
Loh, who is now single, supports a five-year-old daughter born out of wedlock.
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