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Judicial CP - November 1999

Corpun file 4470


The New Paper, Singapore, 3 November 1999

These Spice Boys have to sing a different tune

By Eugene Wee




Mahmod Mohalas

Mokrah Salleh


Mahmod Mohalas was sentenced to 12 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for armed robbery and robbery with hurt.

Mokrah Salleh was sentenced to nine years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for the same offences.

The maximum penalty for armed robbery is 10 years' jail and at least 12 strokes of the cane.

The maximum penalty for robbery with hurt is 20 years' jail and at least 12 strokes of the cane.

YOU could call them the "Spice Boys". But the only singing they'll be doing in the future will be from behind bars.
You see, Mahmod Mohalas and Mokrah Salleh were a duo with a spicy recipe for crime.
Both were arrested on July 15 for using a penknife to rob five petrol kiosks of almost $4,600 during a three-day spree. They were released on bail on July 28.
A month later, they were back to their thieving ways.
This time, they chose a more subtle weapon from their cookbook of crime.
It was a bottle of pepper, which they used to blind their victims.
In a district court yesterday, Mahmod, 32, and Mokrah, 43, pleaded guilty to charges of armed robbery and robbery with hurt.
Their first pepper robbery happened on Sept 6.
At about 6.40 pm, Mokrah dropped Mahmod off at Joo Chiat Complex and pointed out the shop he was to rob.
Mahmod then entered Che Boon Import and Export on the pretext of buying cigarettes.
As he paid for the cigarettes, he suddenly threw pepper powder on the face of the shopkeeper, Miss Jeo Poh Eng, 37. He then grabbed $1,000 from the cash register and fled.
Mokrah later picked up him up at Lorong 101, Changi Road.
Two days later, they again used pepper to rob an insurance agent who had made a withdrawal from an ATM.
Mokrah spotted Mr Lim Pang Hee, 56, at the Eunos MRT station. Mr Lim had just made a $100 withdrawal.
This time, Mahmod, who was wearing a crash helmet, told Mr Lim that he had dropped something.
When he looked down, Mahmod let fly with a cloud of pepper powder, blinding his victim.
He then snatched a pouch that Mr Lim was carrying and ran. Three passers-by, who saw the incident, gave chase and detained him.
Mokrah, who managed to escape, was later arrested by the police.
Now, the "Spice Boys" are behind bars.

Copyright 1999 Singapore Press Holdings. All Rights Reserved.

Corpun file 4604


Straits Times, Singapore, 4 November 1999

Man jailed for fatal attack at food centre

Four years' jail for a member of the group of men who assaulted and stabbed a man to death at Newton

By Elena Chong

A MAN was at the Newton Food Centre early one morning when he was killed in an attack by a group of people, a district court heard yesterday. Mr Mohamed Yusof Mohamed Ismail, 37, was with his friend, Mr Tan Khoon Huat, at the hawker centre at about 3 am on Feb 14 this year. Mr Mohamed Yusof died after being stabbed six times.

An autopsy report showed later that two of the stab wounds were fatal as they had punctured his lungs. He also had a 14-cm long cut on his face.

His friend, who was kicked and punched, managed to escape with minor injuries.

Yesterday, Mohammad Rizal Mohammad Sidek, 24, who is unemployed, was sentenced to 44 months in jail and six strokes of the cane for being a member of the group of assailants.

He was found guilty on two charges after a trial.

Three of his accomplices had been dealt with earlier. Zulkarnain Taib, 23, Mohamed Abbillah Johari, 18, and Yohannees Hosni, 20, were each given caning and jail terms of between 36 and 42 months.

The court heard that one of the assailants, who had been seated at a table nearby, walked over and spoke to Mr Mohamed Yusof before he and Mr Tan could order their food.

Mr Mohamed Yusof later went over to their table and had a heated argument with them. He was then beaten up by the men, who were joined by several others.

One of them, Zulkarnain, used a motorcycle helmet to hit the back of the victim's head several times. Broken beer bottles were also used to attack him.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Joel Wong Yang urged District Judge Khoo Oon Soo to impose a deterrent sentence as this was a case of "senseless and unnecessary violence", and there had been no apparent motive for the assault.

The DPP added that Mr Mohamed Yusof and Mr Tan had been outnumbered as they were attacked by six to 10 men.

Some of the culprits are still at large.

Defence counsel Ismail Hamid said in mitigation that his client was not the one who had stabbed Mr Mohamed Yusof, because he had been unarmed.

Mr Ismail added that his client did concede that he had "delivered some blows", but said that the whole incident had happened on the spur of the moment.

Copyright 1999 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.

blob Follow-up: 21 March 2008 - Dad's sudden death made me repent (illustrated) (Rizal going straight, becomes model employee)

Corpun file 4606


The New Paper, Singapore, 5 November 1999

He hit the bottle & hit with the bottle

By Eugene Wee





Yasser (above) pleaded guilty in a district court to rioting with a deadly weapon.

He was sentenced to 30 months' jail and six strokes of the cane. He could have been jailed for up to seven years for the offence.

YASSER Mohamed Ali was one mean character.
He gulped down Jack Daniels whisky the way others drank coke.
When he finished a bottle, he'd buy another.
And the whisky bottle came in handy when he needed a weapon.
First, Yasser broke it over his helpless victim's head. Then, he used the jagged edges of the bottle to thrust at him.
It was in a fastfood restaurant in Tampines Mall on May 9 that he attacked the youth.
On that day, Yasser met six of his friends at the shopping mall.
They chatted while he drank his Jack Daniels.
And when he emptied the bottle, he went to a 7-Eleven store to buy another.
The group continued to roam around the area until they passed a McDonald's restaurant at Block 512, Tampines Central 1. It was about 7.30 pm.
There, Yasser saw Norfazer Mohamed, a 16-year-old student, chatting with a group of his friends in the restaurant.
Believing that Norfazer had assaulted him two months earlier, Yasser excused himself from his group of friends, saying he had to use the toilet.
With the Jack Daniels bottle in hand, he walked up to Norfazer and let fly, smashing it on his head.
Alerted by the commotion, his friends charged into the restaurant to assist him.
They attacked and chased Norfazer's friends as Yasser continued to attack the teenager with the jagged edge of the whisky bottle.
Norfazer's friend, Azmi Abdul Rahim, 16, was also attacked by two of Yasser's friends. He was stabbed in the neck with an 8 cm mini-screwdriver, which later had to be removed by a doctor.
Both victims told The New Paper in a previous interview that they had no idea why they were attacked.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohamed Nasser Ismail pointed out that Yasser was "clearly the main instigator of the mayhem".
He added that Yasser had exhibited a "propensity towards violent conduct" as he had admitted to being the headman of a triad secret society group that operated in the Tampines area.
Four of his accomplices had already been dealt with while another two, including the one who allegedly stabbed Azmi, have claimed trial.

Copyright 1999 Singapore Press Holdings. All Rights Reserved.

Corpun file 4605


The New Paper, Singapore, 5 November 1999

The girls waited for the creep to strike again

By Leong May Ling


Joseph Han got two years jail, the maximum jail term for outrage of modesty.



He kept standing close behind me although the way was clear for him to move to the back of the bus...I even turned to him and smiled and said that it was OK (when he kept knocking into her "accidentally")

- First victim, Tina



I felt like slapping him but I was afraid I would be the one embarrassed instead. I also pitied him because of his limp.

- Second victim, Maria



He deserves it. It's like he doesn't know how to enjoy life other than doing this.

- Maria on Han's two years jail term, $1,000 fine and four strokes of the cane

A schoolgirl jostling with other passengers in a bus.
Nothing unusual about that.
The bus takes a turning, the man sitting next to the girl takes a turning too... and his shoulder hits her.
Again, nothing unusual about that.
The bus rides continue, the turnings continue and the knocks continue.
Then, one day the knocks turn to tickles... on the girl's buttocks.
Now that is UNUSUAL.
So the girl checks with one of her classmates. To their horror, they discover that the man has been doing the same thing to them.
He is a creep and we must fix him, the girls decide. They wait for the creep to strike again.
He does: One day, they see the man up to his tickling business again. This time the victim is another classmate.
All three of them make a police report, the man is arrested, charged in court and finally jailed two years - the maximum jail punishment for molest.
The man is Joseph Han Lin Siew, 33, a data entry clerk in a factory.
Tina (not her real name) was on her way to school on Aug 11 at 7.15 am when she was molested.
The 18-year-old schoolgirl noticed Han board the feeder bus in a Bedok neighbourhood.
"He kept standing close behind me although the way was clear for him to move to the back of the bus," said Tina.
When the bus took a turning, his shoulder knocked into her but she thought it was just an accident.
"I even turned to him and smiled and said that it was OK," she said.
As the bus approached her school, she felt something tickling her buttocks.
When she looked down, she saw Han's hand fidgeting near her buttocks.
The secondary school student was too stunned to do anything except move away.
The next victim was Tina's classmate, Maria, 17 (not her real name).
At first Maria thought it was an accident when Han's raised elbow (he was holding the bus railing) knocked into her breast.
Discreetly, she moved away. But he kept knocking into her breast.
Maria finally knew that what was happening was no accident.
"I felt like slapping him but I was afraid I would be the one embarrassed instead.
"I also pitied him because of his limp," her round eyes growing larger as she described her anger.
Needing to vent her frustration, Maria confided in Tina. Tina had the same story to tell.
That's when the plan to catch the molester was hatched.
The two classmates, who are both sitting for the O-level examinations this year, decided to watch out for a third victim before making a police report.
"If we had left this matter alone, what about other girls?" asked one of the victims.
"He might do something worse to them."
And it wasn't long before Han did it again.
Right before their eyes, they saw Han tickle the buttocks of another classmate two days later.
After they alighted, they asked the girl what had happened.
"She didn't want to admit at first but after I told her that it was alright and that he had done exactly the same thing to me, she told us what had happened to her," said Tina.
On Aug 23, the three girls made a police report and Han was arrested two days later.
When asked if they felt any pity for him, Maria said:
"He deserves it. It's like he doesn't know how to enjoy life other than doing this."
He had done it before
JOSEPH Han Lin Siew was sentenced on Oct 29 to two years jail and four strokes of the cane for outrage of modesty.
He was also fined $1,000.
Han had been convicted three times before for similar offences.
In 1985, he was given a one year probation.
Two years later, he was fined $450 and in March 1994, he was jailed six months and given three strokes of the cane.
During his mitigation, his lawyer said that Han was born with spinal problems and the previous caning had caused him numbness in the back.

Copyright 1999 Singapore Press Holdings. All Rights Reserved.

Corpun file 4672


Straits Times, Singapore, 20 November 1999

Jailed teenage molester will now be caned as well

A TEENAGER who had been jailed for a total of 36 months for molesting several women will now be caned as well, after the prosecution appealed. But his total jail term has been halved.

Chief Justice Yong Pung How ordered Mohamad Zaffinoor Mohamad Kassim, 18, to be caned three strokes on each of the four charges.

Zaffinoor had been sentenced to nine months' jail on each charge in August this year. They were to have run consecutively. But the CJ said that only two should be consecutive. So the youth will serve 18 months and be caned 12 strokes.

His lawyer, Mr A. Rahman Saleh, told the court that the district judge had already imposed a 36-month jail term, which was a deterrent, and urged the CJ not to impose caning.

The judge had called Zaffinoor a "menace" to residents in his estate. The district judge had not ordered caning because Zaffinoor was young and a first offender. He was also functioning in the "low average" range of intelligence, and had a traumatic childhood.

But the CJ said he was imposing caning "to avoid sending the wrong signal to people that just because you are 18 years old and because you are not a President's Scholar, you can go round molesting women".

Two other similar charges were considered in sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hay Hung Chun said Zaffinoor had followed his victims into lifts or the stairs and molested them.

He molested a 30-year-old woman twice on June 22 this year -- once on the 21st storey of her apartment block at Toh Guan Road, Jurong, and minutes later, on the 16th storey where she caught him after a chase.

Three days later, she saw him sitting at the ground floor of another block in Toh Guan Road and called the police. The DPP said the youth's acts were more serious than two earlier cases he had cited for which offenders were caned for touching the victims' private parts.

A medical report on Zaffinoor said he became bolder after he escaped the first time and was "thrilled by the trauma" he inflicted. Zaffinoor knew what he did was wrong and this was "no childish prank", said the DPP.

Another factor was that the offences happened in HDB estates, especially in lifts and staircase landings. "I think there is a public interest to ensure...such common areas are kept free and safe and accessible to residents at all times and at all hours of the day," he added.

Zaffinoor could have been jailed for up to two years and caned or fined on each charge.

Copyright 1999 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 4671


Straits Times, Singapore, 20 November 1999

Jail and cane for man who killed cabby with beam

The Malaysian, who fled Singapore in 1994 after committing the crime in a gambling dispute, was arrested at the Woodlands Checkpoint in May this year

A MALAYSIAN who had been on the run for five years after hitting a Singapore taxi driver on the head with a wooden beam, was yesterday sentenced to 10 years' jail and 10 strokes of the cane for manslaughter.

Low Meng Hai, 25, a Malaysian insurance claims surveyor who was originally charged with the murder of Mr Ang Chea Hui, admitted to an amended charge of culpable homicide in causing his death in Upper Boon Keng Road in 1994.

The wooden beam which Low had used to hit Mr Ang, 41, had weighed more than 3 kg. Mr Ang died two days later on June 22. Low, who had since been on the run, was arrested at the Woodlands checkpoint on May 18 this year when he tried to enter the country with a false Malaysian restricted passport.

In passing the sentence, Justice Kan Ting Chiu told Low that he had used a fairly large wooden pole on an unarmed person who was then neither threatening nor provoking him.

"I am aware that only one blow was delivered, but from the evidence, it is not disputed, it was a deliberate and forceful blow to the forehead, and you must have been aware that serious injuries will be caused," he added.

He also said Low had shown no concern for the victim and had fled from the scene and country and was not arrested until five years later.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Karen Loh said Mr Ang and Low, then an air-conditioning technician, had gambled together on occasion, and on the day of the incident had fought over a debt Low owed Mr Ang.

Mr Ang had challenged Low to a fight and they fought at a field nearby. The latter was then seen chasing the taxi driver with a wooden beam.

Mr Ang later paid $100 to Low for injuring his lip.

DPP Loh said when Mr Ang saw Low seated outside on a concrete bench with his friends, he asked why he was still around, but Low pretended not to hear and said that that was his seat.

Mr Ang ignored him and sat down, which angered Low who then struck him on the head and fled in his car.

Defence counsel Choo Si Sen said in mitigation that the killing was not premeditated, brutal or connected to secret society activities.

Low could have been jailed for up to life, or imprisoned for up to 10 years and fined or caned.

Copyright 1999 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 4673 masthead

Straits Times, Singapore, 23 November 1999

Man who raped tourist loses appeal

The man, on the pretext of taking the woman to a cheap nightspot, abducts and rapes her in his flat instead

A MAN who was sentenced to 16 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for abducting and raping an Australian tourist lost his appeal yesterday. Muhammad Rahmatullah Maniam Abdullah, 32, a Malaysian stall assistant, had appealed against his conviction for abducting and raping the 34-year-old social worker, who was here on holiday in November last year. His case, argued yesterday in the Court of Appeal by lawyer Uthayasurian Sidambaram, was that the trial judge had erred in fact and law.

His lawyer said the Australian woman's evidence, that she had been arm-locked around her neck and dragged a few hundred metres and up a few flights of stairs to Rahmatullah's rented flat, was not true as there were no injuries to support her allegations.

He also argued that the victim, being a social worker, was "far from naive" and should have known that it was dangerous to follow strangers in a red-light district.

He added that the judge's finding that the victim was "respectable" was wrong.

However, the court -- comprising Chief Justice Yong Pung How, Justice L.P. Thean and Justice Chao Hick Tin -- unanimously dismissed the appeal after a 45-minute hearing.

During a three-week trial in July this year, the High Court heard that the woman and her 40-year-old friend, a fellow Australian social worker, arrived in Singapore on Nov 23 last year. That night, the two women went to an Orchard Road disco. Then they headed for Desker Road, because a guide book had described it as a tourist spot.

After meeting Rahmatullah at a coffeeshop there, they followed him in a cab after he offered to take them somewhere cheaper. They were accompanied by Perichi Periyasamy, 33, an Indian illegal immigrant and a friend of Rahmatullah's.

When they arrived in Bukit Batok at about 2 am, Perichi led the victim's friend away under the pretext of getting free disco tickets.

Rahmatullah then took the victim to a nearby 7-Eleven store to buy some drinks. Behind the store, he suddenly arm-locked the woman around her neck and slapped her.

He then dragged her along, up to his rented flat in Block 504, Bukit Batok Street 52.

There, he raped her. He then watched a pornographic film, made her perform oral sex on him and raped her again.

It was only when she threatened to smash the television set and kill herself with a bottle, that Rahmatullah let her go. She ran out of the flat and told two carpark attendants that she had been raped.

Copyright 1999 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 4691


The New Paper, Singapore, 26 November 1999

Whacked with golf club



John Tan (above) got 15 months' jail and six strokes of the cane for causing hurt, and another month's jail on an unrelated theft charge.

He could have been jailed for life, and fined.

THIS guy got it all wrong.
First, he spread rumours about a teenage girl.
Then, he gave in to her friend's demand that he pay her compensation.
And where did he go for the money? To his father, who wouldn't part with any.
After which he picked up a golf club and started hitting the girl's friend with it.
And he went on hitting him even after the cops had arrived.
Where does a guy like that end up? In jail, of course.
And that is where John Tan Ah Kiat, 19, went.
The girl, Tan Yu Chun, 14, told her friend, Mr Francis Loh Chung Whye, 24, that Tan had spread rumours about her being a "loose girl". Mr Loh and Yu Chun were with two others at the void deck of Block 538, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, around 1 am on July 22.
Mr Loh then confronted Tan, who admitted he had spread the rumour. Mr Loh asked Tan for some money to "compensate" the girl.
Tan agreed to pay up by 3.40 am. He was told by Mr Loh that he would be beaten up if he didn't.
Tan told Mr Loh to follow him to his flat at Block 542, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, to get the money from his father.
But when Tan's father refused to give him the money, Tan decided to do the beating up himself.
He grabbed two golf clubs from the common corridor outside his third-level flat, and charged at Mr Loh and another friend, Mr Quah Yew Kok, 20.
Mr Quah fled unscathed, but Mr Loh slipped and fell on the stairs. This gave Tan the opportunity to hit him on the ankle with one of the clubs.
Yu Chun heard the commotion and called the police. But even after the cops arrived and warned Tan, he wouldn't put down the clubs.
He continued to clobber Mr Loh on his leg and shoulder, leaving him with a broken left shoulder.
Tan was finally subdued after a brief struggle with the police officers.

Copyright 1999 Singapore Press Holdings. All Rights Reserved.

Corpun file 4706


Straits Times, Singapore, 28 November 1999

Molester gets nine years, 24 strokes of cane

A GENERAL worker who molested two young girls in lifts last month was sentenced to nine years' preventive detention and 24 strokes of the cane on Friday.

Chang Hin Choong, 43, who has seven similar convictions, had pleaded guilty earlier this month to molesting a 10-year-old girl in a lift at Simei Street and another girl, aged 11, in a lift in Tampines on Oct 22.

In the first case, he had followed the victim into the lift, struck up a conversation, and was about to touch her T-shirt when she shoved him.

He then took her hand and placed it on his groin.

Chang then went to Tampines, where he squeezed the private parts of the 11 year old, who kicked and pushed him away.

Afraid he would harm her further, she stopped the lift on the ninth floor and rushed out.

She told a 33-year-old man what had happened.

Chang escaped as the man called the police but was arrested five days later.

When the prosecution pressed for a deterrent sentence, the court called for a report on Nov 4 to find out if Chang was suitable for preventive detention.

Such sentences range from seven to 20 years and are meant for hard-core offenders. Unlike prison sentences, there is no remission of term.

On Friday, Chang's lawyer Shashi Nathan urged District Judge Seng Kwang Boon not to send his client to preventive detention, but to mete out a longer prison term so that he could subject himself to medical and psychiatric examination.

He said the divorcee came from a broken family and was supporting his mother.

Chang was remorseful and asked the court for compassion, said the lawyer.

He could have been sentenced to up to 20 years of preventive detention.

Copyright 1999 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.

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