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Judicial CP - April 1997
The New Paper, Singapore, 4 April 1997
Beach brawl - all because of a harmless bump
The New Paper, Singapore, 8 April 1997
He kicked a woman who protected his victim
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.
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.
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.
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 1½ sachets every day.
He also said that his main source of income was not drug trafficking but cigarette smuggling.
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