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Judicial CP - December 1996


The Straits Times, Singapore, 4 December 1996

Man gets caning, jail for holding up two taxi drivers

A MAN who held up two taxi drivers in one night was sentenced to a total of five years' jail and ordered to be given 14 strokes of the cane yesterday.

Lim Swee Teck, 36, unemployed, pleaded guilty to extorting $3 from Mr Loh Eng Wah, 39. He also admitted hurting Mr Goh Kong Fay, 48, with a knife.

District Judge F. G. Remedios sentenced him to three years' jail and four strokes of the cane for extortion, and to two years' jail and four strokes for causing hurt. The sentences are consecutive.

On July 19, at 3.40 am Lim flagged down Mr Loh's taxi at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3. He told him to drive around until he returned to the spot where he boarded the taxi. He then asked Mr Loh for money to buy food.

When the driver ignored him, Lim threatened him with the knife. He then alighted after taking $3.

A few minutes later, Lim flagged down Mr Goh's taxi.

He sat in front. As the taxi moved off, he gave Mr Goh the same instructions. But Mr Goh was suspicious and decided not to take him. He told Lim he had ended his shift.

Lim was so angered by this that he tried to stab Mr Goh in the chest. The driver's left hand was cut as he tried to deflect the blow. He also suffered stab wounds in the stomach.

Lim also pleaded guilty to carrying a knife, and admitted to not reporting for his urine test.

He has had previous drug convictions, as well as for theft, robbery extortion and disorderly behaviour.

He was sentenced to a year's jail and six strokes for having the knife, and four months for failing to show up for his urine test, both to be served concurrently. Lim's lawyer, Ms Elizabeth Chang, said in mitigation that he had taken medication which had made him confused. He had a knife on him as he was cutting some fruit. He had gone out to look for his mother and children which was why he asked the cab drivers to circle the blocks.

She added that he hurt Mr Goh only because he was afraid he would take him to the police station as he had been skipping his urine tests.


The New Paper, Singapore, 4 December 1996

Girl fears rape, beating ... but saves herself twice

Tham (above) was sentenced to three years' jail and six strokes of the cane for molesting the girl, and another three months' jail for threatening her.

The maximum penalty for aggravated molest is 10 years' jail and caning.

The maximum penalty for criminal intimidation is two years' jail and a fine.

HE threatened her twice. But both times, the 16-year-old girl managed to save herself.

First, he threatened to rape her.

She persuaded him not to, by agreeing to masturbate him instead.

Then, he threatened to hit her with a wooden stick when she asked for his friend's identity card. She responded by saying she had been joking.

When he finally let her go, she immediately made a police report.

It nailed Navy sergeant Tham Kum Fook, 21. (See side report.)


The court heard that Tham and his friend, Mr Peter Cheong, met the teenager at Tiong Bahru Plaza.

They chatted and somehow persuaded the girl, a stranger, to go to Tham's flat at Block 33, Taman Ho Swee.

There, Mr Cheong went to the toilet, leaving Tham and the girl sitting on a mattress.

After Mr Cheong left, Tham pushed the girl onto the mattress and lay on top of her.

She pleaded to be allowed to get up, but Tham refused. Instead, he placed her hand on his penis and asked her to masturbate him.

She refused, crying. But Tham ignored her protests and removed all her clothes.

Then he caressed her and threatened to rape her.

Fearful that he would, she agreed to help him masturbate instead.


Later, Tham allowed the girl to dress.

Then Mr Cheong came out of the toilet. The girl demanded his identity card.

This made Tham angry. He got a wooden stick and threatened to hit the girl.

Afraid he might assault her, the girl quickly said she was just joking.

But she was not.

As soon as Tham let her go, she took a taxi straight to the Central Police Division and filed a report.


The New Paper, Singapore, 10 December 1996

He chases - then blames - man in need
From helper to robber

Seow, who has previous convictions for theft and drug use, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery. He was sentenced to 30 month's jail and six strokes of the cane.
The maximum penalty is 10 years' jail and six strokes.
Nov 30, 11:30 pm:
Mr Chow Kwok Heng borrows a phonecard from Seow Meng Hock at Block 606 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5. Seow follows Mr Chow to a public phone, sees money in his pocket and tries to steal it.

Mr Chow runs to the lift, 10 m from the public phone. Seow chases him, holds lift door open and demands that Mr Chow give him his wallet.

11:48 am:
Mr Chow runs out of lift and up two storeys. He falls down, and Seow again demands his wallet. Police arrive and arrest him.


HE tried to take $67 from the stranger who borrowed a phone card from him.

When he was caught by the police, he tried to pin the blame on his victim, who is intellectually slow.

The robber, Seow Meng Hock, 27, chased Mr Chow Kwok Heng, 20, from a public phone at Block 606, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 to a lift, then up two storeys of the block, at 11.48 pm on Nov 30.

He then attempted to steal his victim's wallet.

But before he could get away, police arrived - so Seow lied that Mr Chow was trying to steal from him.

Mr Chow's mother, Madam Angela Lek, 52, who was called to the scene of the incident, said: "He started accusing my son of the crime. I saw my son with the $67 in his pocket in the morning."

The childcare centre assistant teacher added that her son, who works at a food court clearing trays, is intellectually slow.

"I warned my son that day not to take so much money, just in case he met someone who would take it," she added.

True enough, Mr Chow met Seow at the void deck of Block 606, where he lived.

He borrowed a phone card from Seow to make a call.

Said Madam Lek: "He was late coming home from work and I think he wanted to call me so that I wouldn't worry."

But when the "kind" stranger saw money in Mr Chow's shirt pocket, he decided to steal it.

When Mr Chow realised that Seow was trying to take his money, he covered his pocket with his hand and ran.

Seow followed him to a lift and stopped the door from closing. He tried to pull Mr Chow out of the lift, but he ran out and up the staircase.

But he fell on the second storey, so Seow caught up with him and demanded his wallet.

But the police arrived before he could take it.

Said Madam Lek: "The matter was settled at the police station when the robber admitted he was the culprit."

She added that her son was now careful not to return home too late and also not to carry too much money.


The New Paper, Singapore, 10 December 1996

She can't remember

She wanders off and gets robbed, 13 km from home

We panicked and didn't know where she was. She is prone to go missing for a while. That is why we try not to let her go out on her own.
- Mr Yatim Ahmad, on his daughter Miss Nora Latiff

Rafiqul Islam pleaded guilty to armed robbery.
He was jailed two years and ordered to be given 12 strokes of the cane for armed robbery.
The penalty is a jail term of between two and 10 years and also caning of not less than 12 strokes.


MISS Nora Latiff hardly remembers what happened.

Yet, a man is going to spend two years in jail for it.

And her father isn't about to forget it.

Mr Yatim Ahmad, 70, odd-job labourer, said: "She came back that day with the police, with her gold chain missing.

"She can only remember that a man took her chain away."

The court heard yesterday that Miss Nora, 28 and unemployed, was resting on the upper deck of an uncompleted workers' quarters at 351, Pasir Panjang Drive at 8.45 am on Nov 30 this year.

There, Rafiqul Islam, 24, a foreign worker, threatened her with a 41 cm metal rod and snatched her $170 gold chain.

Miss Nora then ran for help.

Miss Nora, said her father, is sub-normal.

Mr Yatim said in Malay: "She's mentally slow and forgets things."

But how and why did she go to Pasir Panjang?

It's about 13 km away from her Geylang Bahru flat.

She can't tell and her father doesn't know.

Mr Yatim was supposed to meet his daughter for breakfast that morning at a coffeeshop near his flat.

He left the flat thinking Miss Nora was already downstairs.

For half an hour he waited.

When she still did not show up, he called home and learnt from his wife that their daughter was not at home.

Mr Yatim said he didn't know what time his daughter left the flat.

"We panicked and didn't know where she was.

"She is prone to go missing for a while.

"That is why we try not to let her go out on her own," said Mr Yatim.


The robbery was witnessed by a carpenter who was staying in the quarters.

But the robber was only questioned by his operations manager at 2.30 pm that day.

The manager found the gold chain in Rafiqul's bag and took him to the Clementi police station.


The New Paper, Singapore, 20 December 1996

Robbers still at large

Lookout gets jail and cane


Nur Sakdi was sentenced to a total of four years and seven months' jail and 15 strokes of the cane.

For a robbery committed between 7 pm and 7 am, the penalty is three to 14 years' jail, with a minimum of 12 strokes of the cane.


THE two who wielded the knife and chopper, who put the knife at a woman's throat, who bit at her husband's chest and stabbed his leg - they are still at large.

But the person who kept an eye on the couple's two maids was yesterday sentenced to be jailed and caned. He had earlier received $300 and a credit card from the $47,350 booty.

On Oct 15, at about 3 am, Nur Sakdi, an Indonesian who had entered Singapore illegally, broke into a double-storey semi-detached house in Jalan Siap, near Hillview Road, with two friends, Tono and Daimiri.

They forced open the back door.

While Nur Sakdi guarded the two maids downstairs, Tono, armed with a knife, and Daimiri, who held a chopper, went upstairs.

When husband and wife came out of their bedroom on hearing the commotion, they were attacked by the men.

Tono pressed his knife to the wife's neck, while Daimiri charged at her husband with the chopper.

The husband grappled with Daimiri and both fell to the floor. He held Daimiri's hands even as Daimiri bit at his chest. But when he saw his wife held hostage at knife-point, he let go - and Daimiri stabbed his leg. The two robbers then ransacked the room, taking $6,000 in cash, a $6,000 Rolex watch, $33,700 worth of jewellery from a safe, five credit cards, and $1,650 worth of other items. They picked up Nur Sakdi from downstairs, ran out of the house and went back to sleep in the bushes.

He got his share of the loot three days later.

On Nov 27, he was arrested by a Central Narcotics Bureau officer at the World Trade Centre.

He pleaded guilty yesterday to robbery, entering Singapore illegally, and having someone else's documents.


The Straits Times, Singapore, 20 December 1996

Lift robber gets 12 years and 24 strokes

A LIFT robber was sentenced to 12 years' jail and ordered to be given 24 strokes of the cane for using a knife to rob people in HDB lifts.

Lee Kim Fatt, 42, who has previous convictions for theft and robbery, had also skipped his urine tests for drugs.

He faced 33 robbery charges and five drug offences. The prosecution proceeded with 11 charges and the others were taken into consideration.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Karen Loh told a district court yesterday that Lee followed his victims into the lifts and demanded their jewellery and cash when the lift doors closed.

He took gold bangles, chains, necklaces and even a woman's sunglasses in one case.

He either escaped when the lift door opened or pushed his victims out of the lift and rode the lift to the ground floor.

His victims were Miss Rohana Rajab, 29; Miss Tey Chi Feng, 18; Miss Wee Beng Hong, 43; Miss Ong Bee Pok, 23; Madam Foo Kwai Yong, 65; and Madam Tan Hwee Eng, 43.

The robberies took place in the Bukit Batok, Jurong, Holland Avenue and Ang Mo Kio areas.

The court also heard that Lee, who had been placed on drug supervision in September last year, did not report for his urine tests three times.

He was arrested for drug possession on Sept 8 at his Bukit Batok East flat, after police received a tip-off.

He pleaded guilty yesterday. In mitigation, his lawyer, Ms Prabha Dube, told the court that Lee was a divorcee with no children and was now living with his 80-year-old mother.

For the armed robbery charges, he could have been jailed for up to 14 years and given not fewer than 12 strokes of the cane.


Straits Times, Singapore, 21 December 1996

Man gets 11 years' jail and 18 strokes for rape and robbery

A RAG-AND-BONE man raped a woman after inviting her into his flat on the pretext of showing her a computer he wanted to sell.

On June 29, Leow Kim Chu, 40, also stole jewellery and money belonging to the woman, a 44-year-old cleaning supervisor .

He was convicted in the High Court on Wednesday for rape and robbery, and sentenced to 11 years' jail and 18 strokes of the cane.

During the three-day trial, he had chosen to remain silent when his defence was called.

The victim's testimony was heard in camera. Her name was not revealed to protect her identity.

The court heard that she was acquainted with Leow casually, as she had dealt with him on three occasions.

She had sold him a used radio outside her flat, sought his help to sell old computers and asked if he was selling two trolleys he had.

Before June 29, she had never been to his flat.

She met him on her way to work that morning, and he asked her if she wanted to buy a computer.

Inside his flat, she did not see any computer. When she wanted to leave, Leow grabbed hold of her.

She started to shout, but he told her to keep quiet or he would kill her. He then threw her onto his bed.

He covered her head with a blanket and tied her hands before raping her.

Before she was allowed to leave, she noticed that her jewellery, worth nearly $1,400, was missing. Cash of $302 was also taken.

Later, she told her daughters and her husband about the incident. They reported to the police.

The court also heard that Leow had previous convictions. For instance, in 1981, he was jailed a year for unlawfully confining a woman.

In sentencing him, Judicial Commissioner Amarjeet Singh said he believed the woman to be a truthful witness.

Leow was given 11 years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane for the rape. For the robbery, he was sentenced to three years' jail and six strokes of the cane. The sentences are to run concurrently.

For the robbery charge, Leow could have been jailed up to 10 years and given at least six strokes of the cane.

For rape, he could have been jailed up to 20 years and got at least 12 strokes of the cane, plus a fine.

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