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Judicial CP - June 2005
Straits Times, Singapore, 16 June 2005
NSF pins down parents' attacker
HE HAD just nipped into Ngee Ann City to buy something, but when 20-year-old Jonathan Chiang Tze Yang returned, he found his parents being robbed at knifepoint inside their car.
The full-time national serviceman had the presence of mind to pick his moment, pull the man out of the car and detain him until police arrived.
Yesterday the attacker, 21-year-old Indonesian Irfran Setiawan, was sentenced to three years and four months in jail, plus 12 strokes of the cane, after pleading guilty to robbing Madam Chong of $347 in Singaporean and foreign currency.
The robbery took place at about 8.50pm on March 30.
Madam Chong Shiao Feng, 45, and her husband, Mr Chiang Jun Chai, 61, were waiting in their car on Orchard Turn for their son, when Irfran opened the rear left passenger door and got in.
He took a chopper from his bag and demanded $1,000 from Madam Chong. She agreed, but then Irfran upped his demand to $2,000.
Madam Chong gave him her wallet, but after counting the money, Irfran said it was not enough.
Madam Chong took out her ATM card and offered to accompany him to withdraw more money.
At that moment, her son Jonathan returned and saw Irfran in the car. He waited and, when it looked like Irfran was distracted, pulled the door open and hauled the attacker out of the car by his shirt.
After a short struggle, he managed to pin Irfran down on the ground. Police arrived shortly after 9.05pm and arrested Irfran.
Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
Straits Times, Singapore, 25 June 2005
Driver in MRT track crash jailed for drug sale
By Chong Chee Kin
TWO years ago, technician Loh Hwee Peng avoided a jail sentence after crashing his brother's Mercedes E200 onto an MRT track.
Yesterday, the 24-year-old ended up behind bars after he admitted to selling ketamine and five Ecstasy tablets to an undercover narcotics agent.
After a passionate plea by his lawyer, Mr Lee Teck Leng, District Judge See Kee Oon agreed that Loh should be given the minimum sentence - five years and five strokes of the cane.
He could have been jailed for up to 20 years and given 15 strokes.
The court had earlier heard how Loh had arranged to meet the Central Narcotics Bureau officer on April 2 at the entrance of Marriott Hotel in Orchard Road.
When she turned up at about 6.20pm, he sold her a sachet of ketamine and the tablets for about $190. A team of CNB officers surrounded and arrested him when he was about to leave.
Yesterday, Loh did not deny that he was trafficking in synthetic drugs, but insisted that he did not benefit from the sale.
His lawyer painted a picture of Loh as someone whose 'misguided sense of friendship' led to his being manipulated and used by his friend.
Mr Lee said his client had received a call from 'Ah Tiong', a friend he made when both were doing their national service.
Like on many occasions before, the friend asked for his help to deliver drugs. Loh had refused on previous occasions and 'felt bad about his repeated refusals'. So on April 2, he relented. CNB officers have yet to track down 'Ah Tiong'.
To dispel scepticism that Loh could have been so 'gullible and trusting' to have been manipulated this way, Mr Lee said Loh suffered from a major bout of depression.
He never recovered from his previous brush with the law in 2003, the lawyer said.
In March that year, Loh drove his brother's Mercedes-Benz off the road and onto an MRT track, forcing a train carrying hundreds of commuters to come to a screeching halt. The accident disrupted train services for more than three hours and cost SMRT between $100,000 and $150,000 in damage and lost revenue.
Loh was fined the maximum $1,000 and banned from driving for four years for negligent driving.
The New Paper, Singapore, 28 June 2005
Back-door 'Spider-Man' snared
Lengkong Tiga residents band together to...
HE moved along ledges and climbed into balconies up to eight storeys high.
This 'Spider-Man' was equally good at making clean getaways.
But Hazrin Hassim (right), 32, was no super hero. He was no match for the residents of Lengkong Tiga.
He terrorised the neighbourhood for three months, breaking into 10 flats to steal cash and valuables.
But the residents banded and kept a look-out for him.
And they stopped him.
A 21-year-old student spotted him climbing into a neighbour's balcony around 2am on 10 Mar.
He called the police and kept watch. When the police arrived, 'Spider-Man' had moved on to another unit, but he was found and arrested.
Hazrin was sentenced to eight years jail and 12 strokes of the cane earlier this month.
The Lengkong Tiga community spirit did not stop there.
In April, five 5 residents took the initiative to propose ideas to their MP during a meet-the-people session to prevent such break-ins.
Said Mr Chua Ah Hock, 55, a technician: 'What's stolen is stolen. But if we don't want such incidents again, we must do something.'
The residents suggested that grilles be put in, to cover openings in staircase walls.
It was after climbing out of such an opening on to a ledge that Hazrin inched his way into their homes.
Their MP, Dr Ong Seh Hong, told The New Paper that after hearing the residents' concerns and ideas, he visited the affected units with members of the Aljunied Town Council and the police.
After analysing how 'Spider-Man' had carried out his crime spree, he agreed that the residents' suggestion to install grilles at the staircases was a 'feasible, realistic solution'.
One of his victims, Madam J Wee, a part-time clerk in her 40s, said: 'Every night, every hour, I would wake up to check that everything was okay.'
She told The New Paper that she didn't even realise her house had been broken into until her son and daughter, aged 12 and 16, came back from school one afternoon.
They both discovered money missing from their wallets.
Said Madam Wee: 'At first, I thought my son had used his money to buy PlayStation games. So I told him to be truthful, don't lie...
'Then my daughter came back and said she was left with only a few coins in her wallet. So I thought, how come both my children have the same story?'
It was then that it struck Madam Wee that her handphone had not rung the entire day.
When she checked her handbag, she realised it was gone, along with the cash in her wallet.
Altogether, the family lost about $800 in cash and valuables.
All the items lost were in the living and dining area downstairs.
Madam Wee said nothing was missing from the bedrooms upstairs.
The puzzled family, who have lived in the maisonette for 10 years, could find no sign of forced entry.
It was while making a police report that a passing neighbour told Madam Wee about 'Spider-Man' and the other break-ins in the neighbourhood.
Said Madam Wee: 'Now that the grilles have been installed, we can sleep peacefully.'
On 8 Jun, Hazrin was charged with four counts of housebreaking and theft by night, and sentenced to eight years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane.
Six other cases, including one of attempted housebreaking, were taken into consideration.
Hazrin, who is married with an infant son, had earlier been jailed five years for similar offences.
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