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SINGAPORE

Judicial CP - April 1997



masthead

The New Paper, Singapore, 4 April 1997

Beach brawl - all because of a harmless bump

JAILED

Azman Abdullah was sentenced to 20 months' jail and six strokes of the cane for causing grievous hurt.

Those found guilty of causing grievous hurt can be jailed up to seven years, fined and caned.

By CHAN SEET FUN

THE fight started when a little prank went wrong.

It ended with a 14-year-old boy spending 31 days in hospital after a beach brawl.

The senseless beating took place at about 11 pm, on March 12, 1995.

Azman Abdullah, then 21, and some of his friends went to Changi Beach to fish.

Then a girl in his group took a packet of cigarettes belonging to Azman's friend.

She ran and he chased after her down the beach.

But both of them bumped into Abdul Hamid Boam, then 14, who was walking with his friends.

As they fell in a heap, Abdul Hamid kicked Azman's friend in the face.

When Azman saw this, he pushed Abdul Hamid to the ground, then kicked and punched him again and again.

When Abdul Hamid got up, Azman's friend pushed and punched him too.

Abdul Hamid fell to the ground again. Then another friend of Azman's took over.

He kicked Abdul Hamid in the stomach three times and then stepped on him.

After that, Abdul Hamid lay unconscious on the ground. A member of the public called the police.

Abdul Hamid underwent two operations.

Yesterday at the Subordinate Courts, Azman pleaded guilty to causing grievous hurt.

Pleading for leniency, he said: "I'm the eldest in my family and I have to support my family."

Judge F G Remedios responded: "The medical report shows that the victim suffered very serious injuries, some of which the doctor described as "potentially life-threatening'.

"There is nothing to show that the victim had done anything to you...

"And you have a similar previous conviction. You seem to be quite a violent person."

In 1994, Azman was jailed six months and given three strokes of the cane for causing grievous hurt.

Yesterday he was sentenced to 20 months' jail and six strokes of the cane.

The cases against Azman's accomplices are pending.




masthead

The New Paper, Singapore, 8 April 1997

He kicked a woman who protected his victim

JAILED
Stanley Yim was sentenced to 1 years jail and five strokes of the cane for rioting. The penalty for rioting is a jail term of up to five years and caning.

By ALETHEA LIM

A TEENAGER kicked a restaurant owner when she tried to stop him from hurting one of her customers.

Yesterday the law struck right back -- and knocked 18-year-old Stanley Yim Kar Mun (left) into jail.

Yim was part of a seven-man gang which was involved in a fight at the Sin Hoi Sai Eating House at East Coast Road.

On Nov 1 last year, Yim met some of his friends at 1.15 am at the second level of Katong Shopping Centre.

One of his friends received a call and then informed the gang that they were "going to do something".

Yim and his friends then headed for Sin Hoi Sai Eating House, where two people were fighting.

Eight other people were trying to restrain the two.

Amid the commotion, someone shouted in Hokkien they should attack the restaurant customers.

Yim and his gang then joined in the fight and started throwing plastic chairs at the customers.

They also punched and kicked them.

Yim and three others attacked an unknown customer.


HID CUSTOMER BEHIND HER

The restaurant owner, Madam Yap Sor Khim, 48, tried to protect the man by pulling him behind her.

Yim then kicked Madam Yap on her chest.

The fight ended when the police arrived at about 3 am.

Yim was the only one arrested as the others fled.

Yesterday, the court heard that Yim dropped out of school after Secondary 3 and started working.

A first offender, Yim and his friends were on their way for supper when they came across the scuffle, said his lawyer, Mr James Lee.

Mr Lee said Yim, who was also injured in the fight, deeply regrets his actions.

The lawyer pleaded with the judge to call for a probation report or a short prison sentence for Yim.

District Judge Syed Alwee sentenced Yim to 18 months' jail and five strokes of the cane for rioting.




masthead

The Straits Times, Singapore, 10 April 1997

Victim asks court to spare man who helped rob him

By Elena Chong

A GOLDSMITH was robbed of $200,000 worth of gold by two armed men, but he asked a court yesterday to spare the man who helped set up the crime.

In a letter, Mr Lee Kim Boon, 45, owner of Boon Guan Goldsmith, said that his employee of six years, Goh Hock Nguang, 37, was like a brother to him and had been reliable, loyal, dependable and responsible.

Goh Hock Nguang


Chia Yock Siew


Tan Song Peng

Pleading to the court to pass the "most lenient" sentence, he explained why he was taking the unusual step of pleading on behalf of the man who helped two others to rob him. "This is because I know Hock Nguang better than any other person and he is basically a good person," he wrote. If Goh had only said that he needed money, he added, he would have given him whatever amount it was without hesitation.

Mr Lee said that he was willing to absorb whatever financial loss to reduce Goh's punishment because he understood that it was a basic character flaw which made him do such a foolish thing.

He said he and his family had forgiven Goh, who felt very remorseful for abusing the trust and loyalty that he had for him. That, in itself, was a severe punishment, something Goh would never forget, said Mr Lee. Goh's counsel, Mr Alan Shankar, had tendered Mr Lee's letter as part of his mitigation plea before District Judge Ibrahim Burhan, who imposed the minimum three years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane.

Goh, a salesman who has an eight-month-old son, helped fishmonger Tan Song Peng, 40, and odd-job labourer Chia Yock Siew, 43, to commit armed robbery at the goldsmith's shop in Toa Payoh Industrial Park on Dec 9 last year. Tan, who was armed with a chopper, was given 40 months' jail plus 12 strokes of the cane for robbing Mr Lee of $200,000 worth of ornaments and $7,513 in cash.

Chia, who had been armed with a bread knife, was sentenced to four years and 12 strokes for his part in the crime.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Janet Wang said Mrs Lee unlocked the padlock to let Goh in when he returned at about 7.15 pm that day. Tan rushed in and grabbed her by the neck and placed the chopper on Goh's neck.

Chia also got in. The two then ordered Mr Lee's brother to open the safe and they removed the assorted gold items and $7,513. Goh was arrested on Dec 16, and the two men, the next day. The gold ornaments, which had been melted, were recovered from a friend of Goh in Johor Baru.

Chia had three previous convictions for gambling and illegal moneylending while Tan had a previous gaming conviction.




masthead

The Straits Times, Singapore, 23 April 1997

Rioters to be caned if they cause serious injury, says district judge

RIOTING cases are on the increase and offenders must be caned if they cause severe injuries, a district judge said yesterday when he jailed 11 young men and ordered them to be caned.

The 11 who pleaded guilty on April 9 to rioting at the NTUC Pasir Ris Resort in November 1995 will get between four and six strokes of the cane plus 12 to 36 months in prison.

District Judge Syed Alwee, who described rioting as a serious offence, said: "Rioting involves violence and disrupts public tranquillity."

He added that rioting, when committed in busy public places, put innocent members of the public in fear of their safety and risked their getting hurt.

He said statistics showed that such offences were on the increase, and it was in the public interest that offenders were dealt with properly.

There were 148 cases in the first quarter of this year, a 40-per-cent rise over the same period last year.

"In appropriate cases -- where the victim or victims have suffered severe injuries, where weapons were used and when it was a planned attack as the facts of the present case disclose -- the court will order caning," he added.

The 11 youths, together with four others, assaulted three men -- Mr Chua Guan Heng, 22, Mr Toh Hwee Leong, 20 and Mr Eric Chung Soon Mun, 20 -- while part of an illegal group on Nov 23, 1995.

Some of them had knives, metal pipes and even a telephone receiver as a weapon.

Mr Chua lost his left little finger in the attack and his left hand was almost severed although it was re-attached successfully by surgery.

Mr Chung had, among other injuries, a severe cut near the spine which sliced through his neck muscles.

Two of the accused, Keok Yak Hian, 20, and Teo Tian Soo, 19, who both had previous convictions, were each given 36 months' jail and six strokes.

Tou Chau Loong, 18, a Malaysian, was sentenced to two years and six strokes of the cane, while Daniel Puah Wee Kwang, 18, and Leong Whye Keat, 19, a Malaysian, each got 12 months and four strokes.

The remaining six youths -- Marc Kuan Seow Juan, Keng Wei Siong, Goh Keng Boon, Gwee Kok Eng, all 18, and Chong Yong Seng and Goh Chong Teck, both 17 -- were each sentenced to 18 months and six strokes.

The court had heard that Keng and Chong took four metal pipes to the resort, while another 17-year-old youth, whose case is pending, hid four knives he had bought earlier in the chalet.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sunari Kateni submitted that jail and caning should be imposed to deter would-be offenders from rioting or committing other offences against public tranquillity.

In a separate charge, Keok, unemployed, was fined $6,000 and banned from driving for five years for causing the death of a pedestrian, Mr Lam Wei, 78, by riding his motorcycle negligently along West Coast Road on April 27 last year. He pleaded guilty.

In another case, 16-year-old student Hashahri Hassan, a self-confessed secret society member, was jailed 15 months for rioting with 15 gang members outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in the World Trade Centre on March 8.

During a fight, he and his gang punched rival gang member Michael Ong Phee Khoon, 17, who was also slashed on his right upper back and right arm by an accomplice armed with a parang.

In a third case, waiter Soh Ying Kuan, 23, was jailed for 15 months for kicking and punching Mr Koh Teck Chye, 20, while being part of a 10-member illegal assembly.

Mr Koh was also hit on the head with a beer mug during the attack near a convenience store at Orchard Towers shortly before 11.40 pm on Jan 11.

Rioting is punishable with a jail term of up to five years. Offenders can also be caned.




masthead

The Straits Times, Singapore, 24 April 1997

Drug addict gets 30 years, 15 strokes instead of gallows

A DRUG addict escaped the death sentence narrowly yesterday after he managed to show that not all of his 20 g of heroin were meant for selling.

But Roslan Osman, 29, received a 30-year jail term and 15 strokes of the cane when he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of trafficking in less than 15 g of the drug.

The death sentence is compulsory for trafficking in more than 15 g of heroin.

In passing sentence, Justice T.S. Sinnathuray said that while he had amended the original capital charge to a lesser one, he viewed the case gravely because Roslan had admitted that he sold drugs to his friends regularly.

The judge also noted that he did not repent despite having been jailed previously for having drugs.

He imposed the maximum jail term, to prevent Roslan from contaminating others with drugs.

The court heard that on Nov 30 last year, Roslan was arrested at his flat in Block 519, Bedok North Avenue 1, during a raid by the Central Narcotics Bureau.

Officers who searched his room found some cash and a portable weighing scale. But they later found two plastic bags containing 42 sachets of heroin at the ground floor of the block.

On being questioned, Roslan admitted that the drugs were his and he had thrown them out the window.

During the trial, his defence was that he had no intention of selling the drugs as he was an addict and consumed about 1 sachets every day.

He also said that his main source of income was not drug trafficking but cigarette smuggling.

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