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www.corpun.com   :  Archive   :  1996   :  SG Judicial Sep 1996

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SINGAPORE

Judicial CP - September 1996



Straits Times, 4 September 1996

Dutchman gets 6 years, cane for smuggling Ecstasy

A DUTCHMAN who smuggled 2,239 Ecstasy pills into Singapore was sentenced yesterday to six years' jail and 10 strokes of the cane.

Willem Anton Barth Alling, 48, was caught at Changi airport on June 9 while in transit from Amsterdam to Surabaya in Indonesia.

He was stopped after he set off a metal detector, and was found to have seven cigarette boxes containing scores of tablets.

During the two-day trial, his lawyer, Mr P. Suppiah, questioned the accuracy of the forensic analysis done by the Department of Scientific Services (DSS).

He noted that only a sample of the pills was tested, and that the defence could not conduct its own analysis as this sample had been disposed of.

But Deputy Public Prosecutor Rajiv Nair defended the test method used, pointing out that the sample was random and that it had been analysed according to a DSS manual based on United Nations guidelines.

Before sentencing, District Judge Yap Siew Yong said there was a need to send a clear signal that Singapore would deal harshly with those who contravene the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The maximum sentence for importing a Class A controlled drug into Singapore is 30 years' jail and 15 strokes of the cane.




Straits Times, 6 September 1996

Sex offender's appeal rejected

AN INCORRIGIBLE sexual offender, who was given 20 years' preventive detention and 24 strokes of the cane for molesting five schoolboys, lost his appeal yesterday.

After listening to odd-job labourer Abdul Aziz Ibrahim's long list of previous convictions, Chief Justice Yong Pung How remarked that a law in California to castrate paedophiles "may well be considered here".

He said: "In California, they are trying to get a Bill passed for cases like these, where the offenders will be castrated or injected to reduce their sexual potency.

"This may well be considered in places like Singapore." California's State Assembly passed the Bill on Aug 30, making California the first state in the United States to require repeat child-molesters to undergo "chemical castration".

The offender can also submit himself to surgical removal of his testicles.

Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Wong Keen Onn read out a list of Abdul Aziz's previous convictions:

In 1977, he was jailed eight months for theft;

In 1979, he was jailed three years for attempted rape;

In 1983, he was jailed 12 years and given 12 strokes of the cane on two counts of rape;

In 1991, in the same court case, he was jailed three years for committing unnatural sex, nine months for outraging the modesty of a child below 14 years, and three years for impersonating a public servant.

Finally, on June 23, District Judge Louis D'Souza sentenced him to 20 years' preventive detention and 24 strokes of the cane for molesting five schoolboys.

In March and May, he convinced the boys he was a police officer and told several of them he was conducting a body search.

The boys, aged between 13 and 15, were molested in a men's toilet, a rubbish collection centre, a park, underneath a flyover and at a senior citizens' corner.

In his appeal yesterday, Abdul Aziz said he had been sexually assaulted as a child.

Speaking in Malay through an interpreter, he said: "When I was a young boy at the age of 13, I was sexually assaulted when I was at a boys' home. From then on, I did the same thing."

He begged for a lighter caning sentence because "I cannot bear the pain".

But the CJ told him: "Well, a lot of your victims can't bear your attention."

He added: "The trial judge had said that he was sorry he could not put you away for a longer period. I share his view."

The CJ asked the DPP: "He is 38? When he comes out he will be 58. I hope the next Chief Justice can put him away till he's 78."



Straits Times, 10 September 1996

Man gets jail, caning for molesting daughter

A 42-YEAR-OLD man pleaded guilty yesterday to outraging the modesty of his 12-year-old daughter. He was sentenced to a total of 3 years' jail and 15 strokes of the cane.

A district court heard that between May 5 and June 25 this year, he used criminal force to molest his daughter at their flat.

He had molested his daughter on 12 occasions, sometimes when she was asleep.

These offences also occurred in the afternoons when the girl returned from school.

The man warned his daughter not to tell her mother or anyone else about the matter.

On July 13, the girl was taken by her mother to a Neighbourhood Police Post and they lodged a report that her father had raped her at home in May.

The man faced a total of 12 charges of using criminal force with the intention of outraging her modesty but the prosecution proceeded only on seven charges.

The remaining five charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The man had been convicted previously for consumption of drugs in 1976 and fined $300.

He had also been fined $500 in 1985 for failing to report to the police for urine tests.

In mitigation, he said he was sorry and would not commit the offences again. He also pleaded for a lighter sentence.

District Judge S. Thyagarajan said the offences could not be taken lightly as they were committed on many occasions. Furthermore, he said, the victim was the man's own daughter and was still a child of tender years.

On each charge, he could have been jailed for two years and caned.




The Electric New Paper, 11 September 1996

Good boy inside
Robber outside

"It came as a complete shock to us. We couldn't imagine he would do anything like this."
- The 22-year-old sister of Mohamed Imran on his robbery. She was speaking at the family's rented one-room flat in Bendemeer where they have been living for 11 years

JAILED: Mohamed Imran Sa'adon (above) was sentenced to seven years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for robbery.

From March to June, he and two others had robbed four people of $314.50 in Parkway Parade. He slapped one of them on the cheek.

The group had also withdrawn $200 using one of their victims' ATM cards. Mohamed Imran's two accomplices have not yet been dealt with.

BY JILL LIM

MOHAMED Imran Sa'adon led a double life.

To his family, he was a good boy who had completed his ITE education, got a job, and contributed money to the household.

To his girlfriend of two years, the 16-year-old was the perfect person whom she planned to marry.

They did not know Mohamed Imran was involved in a string of robberies.

Yesterday, they were aghast when he was sentenced to seven years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for his crimes.

For about half an hour after he was sentenced, his family and girlfriend crowded around him.

His girlfriend clung to Mohamed Imran's hands which were handcuffed behind him.

The girl, who looked no older than 16 herself, told The New Paper they had been planning to marry. Now, she will have to wait at least seven years.

Mohamed Imran pleaded guilty to three charges of robbery, one charge of robbery with hurt and one of theft. Another seven similar charges were taken into consideration.

Mohamed Imran's defence lawyer, Mr John Abraham, asked for probation and a Reformative Training Centre (RTC) report for Mohamed Imran.

He said that Mohamed Imran was "young and didn't realise the punishment that would be meted out". He pointed out that it was his first offence.

But Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Pek Bur countered that "the seriousness and number of offences cannot be ignored".

District Judge Tay Yong Kwang agreed that the court would have to take into consideration "the number of offences and the boldness with which (they) were done".

He added: "I don't think probation will be suitable."

24 STROKES

MOHAMED Imran's birthday is on Sept 20. He will be 17.

So he could not be considered a youth (under 16). A youth can be sentenced to only 10 strokes of the cane in one trial.

Under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), anyone over 16 can face up to 24 strokes in a trial.

Mohamed Imran is not the first 16-year-old to receive 24 strokes.

On Feb 14, 1994, New Kim Poh, 16, was sentenced to three years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane on two charges of robbery. He and three others had robbed a young couple at Ang Mo Kio West Garden at 9.30 pm on Jan 13. It was New's first offence.




Straits Times, 12 September 1996

Thomson Plaza carpark robbers get jail, caning

THE two men responsible for two armed robberies in the basement carpark of Thomson Plaza were each jailed for eight years yesterday. Yeo Say Guan, a 20-year-old mechanic's apprentice, and Chan Kum Whye, a 21-year-old delivery boy, were also given 24 and 18 strokes of the cane, respectively.

They approached Madam Lim Cheng Choo, 31, while she was putting groceries into her car at 4.15 pm on March 29. Yeo shouted "Robbery, robbery!" at her in Mandarin before pointing a knife at her abdomen. He ordered her into the back seat with him, placing one hand on her shoulder and holding the knife in the other.

Chan drove them to a secluded spot in Old Upper Thomson Road and they took $280 and some items before leaving their victim and her car along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5.

They struck again the next day in the same carpark.

Madam Elita Thia, 24, was putting groceries into her car at around 5.30 pm. When the men tried to push her into the car, she screamed and tried to grab her keys but Yeo slashed her arm with a kitchen knife, leaving a three-cm gash.

The two then made off with the vehicle, which they abandoned later in a Serangoon North Avenue 2 carpark.

Fingerprints in the car were eventually matched with Yeo's. He was arrested at his home on April 22. Chan was arrested the next day.




Straits Times, 16 September 1996

"Romeo" stole old cars to pick up women at lounges

By Yeow Pei Lin

A JOBLESS 39-year-old man fancied himself as something of a Romeo. M. Suppih would go to pubs and lounges, and his favourite pick-up line was: "Would you like a ride home?"

But all the 24 cars he used for his nights out over a three-week period between April and May this year were stolen.

He helps to explain the rise in car thefts in the first half of this year.

There were 177 cars stolen, up from 135 in the same period last year. Most were more than 10 years old. Many were "borrowed" for a short time and then abandoned.

Staff sergeant Kamsani Salman, who heads the Jurong Police Division's motor vehicle theft squad which arrested Suppih, said old cars were stolen because they were easier to break into. They usually did not have good security systems like steering wheel locks and alarms.

"The owners usually think that no one would want to steal old vehicles, so they tend to be less cautious," he said.

All the cars Suppih "borrowed" were more than 10 years old, and he used two master keys to get into them.

He would steal a car before going to a pub or lounge, and then pick up a woman.

He would then go to a secluded spot for a rendezvous, and he usually abandoned the car on the same night.

The car thief, who also wielded a knife and robbed a 24-year-old waitress he had given a ride to, was recently jailed five years and given 12 strokes of the cane.

One of his victims was Mr Pang Joo Lip, 35, director of a real estate company, who was shocked when his 10-year-old Mazda was stolen from outside his home one afternoon.

"I couldn't believe he chose my car, because there were also other similarly old but more expensive cars around my neighbourhood," he said.

When the car was found in Teban Gardens three days later, he was even more surprised to learn that Suppih had stolen the car just for a night out.

"I thought that a thief would steal cars for smuggling drugs, or something like that."




The Electric New Paper, 18 September 1996

They didn't know he's a pervert

Good side
Studied hard and moved from normal to express stream
Promoted to staff sergeant in school's National Police Cadet Corps
Quiet boy who obeys his mother

Dark side
Visited brothels in Geylang and Desker Road
Masturbated daily, watched pornographic tapes
Peeped at sister bathing

"He kept more to himself and didn't cause trouble. He even ran errands like carrying books for teachers."
- Lim's ex-teacher

"I asked myself if I could have detected his problems earlier. I don't think so. He was too quiet."
- Mr Jolyon Caplin, Lim's poly lecturer

A 20-year-old polytechnic student was sentenced to five years and four months' jail yesterday for robbery and molest. Lim Hong Cheong also got the maximum of 24 strokes of the cane. Those who thought they knew him described him as a good son and obedient student. Few knew about his dark side

BY RIANA ZAKIR

HE'S facing court charges - but she's willing to put in a good word about his conduct.

The reason: The teacher remembers his good behaviour in secondary school.

Lim Hong Cheong, 20, had left favourable impressions on his secondary-school teacher, as well as on his polytechnic lecturer and his family members.

His teachers described him as responsible and neat. To them, he was quiet, almost shy.

Even in court yesterday, he looked studious and grave. He was wearing gold-rimmed glasses with white shirt and dark long pants. His hair was parted neatly at the side.

His secondary-school report book always had a good word for him.

His former secondary-school teacher was surprised when he asked her on Monday to write a testimonial of his good conduct for the court.

Said the teacher, who did not want to be named: "He said he was charged with robbery. I just can't imagine him doing such things."

She remembered him as a hardworking student who never skipped classes. In fact, he moved from normal to express stream in Secondary 3.

"He kept more to himself and didn't cause trouble. He even ran errands like carrying books for teachers," said his ex-teacher.

The teacher said she didn't probe further about the charges he faced "because he was reluctant to tell me more".

"He kept repeating that he didn't know the consequences would be so serious. He was silent as I wrote the testimonial in 10 minutes."

Her testimonial pleaded for leniency, saying that Lim was "well-behaved" in secondary school.

When The New Paper told her of Lim's sexual offences, the teacher was shocked and said softly: "I suppose still water runs deep."

Said his poly lecturer, Mr Jolyon Caplin, 36: "He hardly mixed with the girls in class. He never wore flashy clothes, just plain T-shirt and jeans."

Lim studied electronics, computer and communication engineering at Singapore Polytechnic.

Said Mr Caplin: "I asked myself if I could have detected his problems earlier. I don't think so.

"He was too quiet."

Dark side

LIM'S dark side surfaced when he was caught for robbery and molest.

He had trailed three women to their lifts in April and May this year. He touched their breasts, kissed one of them and robbed two at knifepoint.

Lim was also fined $2,000 for two obscene tapes found in his flat.

A psychiatric report read out in court yesterday said Lim had a high sex drive and could not control his sexual urges.

However, the report said he was not suffering from any major psychiatric illness.

Lim masturbated daily and watched obscene tapes. Movies and TV programmes featuring sexy women also aroused him.

His sexual desire grew, fed by describing various sex acts with his friends. He visited brothels in Geylang and Desker Road with his friends from the polytechnic.

The only hint came when his mother caught him peeping at his sister bathing. He ran away from home to stay overnight with a friend but soon returned.

The report said Lim was "emotionally naive" and lacked insight into himself.

It said he was aroused by the three "sexy" victims he molested in the lifts, where he touched their breasts.

He robbed two of them at knifepoint, punching one in the stomach.

He masturbated when he returned home and recalled the incidents.

Obedient

LIM was described as filial and obedient by his family.

Said his elder sister, who did not want to be named: "If our mother asked him not to go out with his friends because it was late, he would listen."

But she did not want to answer when asked how often Lim went out or how late he usually stayed out with his friends.

Asked if Lim had complained that he was short of money, the sister replied: "He was well provided for." She refused to elaborate.

He is the youngest of five children.

His mother, a housewife in her 50s, collapsed onto a chair and cried for 15 minutes after the sentence was read.




The Electric New Paper, 27 September 1996

He kicked trainees

"I have to think of the pain the trainees have suffered, even though many of the injuries have healed. I have to treat you like any ordinary person who caused grievous hurt, bearing in mind that you have abused your position."

- District Judge S Thyagarajan, in sentencing police drill instructor Rozli Ahmad (left), who punched and kicked trainees in the name of discipline

Jail, Cane
Rozli Ahmad, 27, was sentenced to six months' jail and three strokes of the cane yesterday for beating the trainees.

BY IVY ONG

A POLICE drill instructor went beyond the call of duty when he broke a trainee's bone in the name of discipline.

Rozli Ahmad, 27, punched and kicked trainees for offences like smoking and not doing exercises correctly.

In March, he got angry when he saw trainee Lim Yong Hong, 18, doing an exercise wrongly. Rozli kicked him in his chest twice, breaking a bone.

On June 2, he slapped trainee Sivakumar Mariappan, 18, for bullying a squad mate - only to be told he had confronted the wrong Sivakumar.

He then beat up the real "culprit". In court yesterday, Rozli claimed he did all this because he was frustrated with his love life. (See other report.)

But District Judge S Thyagarajan said his actions were "plainly an abuse of trust".

He sentenced Rozli to six months' jail and three strokes of the cane yesterday for beating trainees.

Rozli, then a Police Academy drill instructor, prepared National Servicemen for their Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) and was also in charge of discipline.

He originally faced 16 charges. But the prosecution proceeded with four.

Rozli's lawyer, Mr Syed Ahmad, said he was suspended from the police force on June 10 this year and is likely to be sacked.

In sentencing him, Mr Thyagarajan said: "I have to think of the pain the trainees have suffered, even though many of the injuries have healed.

"I have to treat you like any ordinary person who caused grievous hurt, bearing in mind that you have abused your position."

How Rozli meted out discipline

ROZLI had unusual ways of punishing his trainees.

Among them:
When trainee Lim Yong Hong failed his physical test, Rozli locked him up in the toilet for two hours to "build up his courage".

He used a pipe to secure the door.
On June 2 last year, Rozli assaulted trainee Ng Chun Beng, 18, for allegedly smoking in the barracks.

He pulled Mr Ng down from the upper bunk of a double-decker bed, kicked him in the stomach and pushed his face against a cupboard twice.

When Mr Ng continued denying that he had been smoking, Rozli grabbed his shoulder and punched him four times in the face.

He also used his knee near Mr Ng's groin.

Mr Ng suffered bruises.

Frustrated with his love life

ROZLI took out the frustrations of his courtship on his trainees.

Said his lawyer, Mr Syed Ahmad: "What happened was the result of him being over-zealous in his duties coupled with his courtship problems.
"In the heat of the moment, he forgot where to draw the line."

Mr Syed Ahmad said at the time, Rozli was having problems with his girlfriend, also a police officer.

He said: "His girlfriend was working at another police station. Problems arose out of jealousy and misunderstanding."

"The fact that they could not see each other often, as she worked on shifts, compounded the problem."

On June 2, the day Rozli assaulted three trainees, he had quarrelled with his girlfriend over the telephone.

A psychiatric report said Rozli had low self-esteem and often suspected other people's motives.

Mr Syed Ahmad said Rozli had calmed down a lot since marrying his girlfriend last December. He has since apologised to all his victims.

Yesterday, Rozli's wife wept outside the court.



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