|www.corpun.com : Archive : 2012 : SG Judicial Sep 2012|
Corpun file 24106 at www.corpun.com
The Straits Times, Singapore, 8 September 2012, p.1
Five youths jailed, caned over Downtown East murder
By Selina Lum
FIVE youths who stabbed and slashed a rival gang member in a fight at Downtown East two years ago were yesterday jailed between eight and 12 years.
They were also ordered to be caned between 10 and 12 strokes for their roles in the horrific assault that resulted in the death of 20-year-old polytechnic student Darren Ng Wei Jie.
The five secret society members had faced the most serious charges -- of culpable homicide -- among the 12 charged over the attack at the shopping and entertainment hub. It took place in full view of a crowd on a Saturday evening on Oct 30, 2010.
Justice Tay Yong Kwang, before delivering his decision, said sentencing young persons for very serious crimes was as heartbreaking for the court as it must be for their parents watching the proceedings. The judge said: "I can only implore especially on behalf of all parents, young persons in secret societies and street gangs to open their eyes to the tragic truth that violence begets violence and vicious acts only breed more vicious reactions.
"Those who take the sword often perish by the sword."
The heaviest sentence -- 12 years and 12 strokes -- among the five was handed down to Stilwell Ong Keat Pin, 20, who had sparked the fight and slashed Darren Ng with a chopper.
Ho Wui Ming, 22, who admitted to two other charges of theft and mischief, was sentenced to 11 years and three months in jail and 10 strokes. He had stabbed the victim with a screwdriver.
Chen Wei Zhen, 21, and Edward Tay Wei Loong, 20, who attacked the victim with a fruit knife and chopper respectively, were each sentenced to 10 years in jail and 10 strokes.
The youngest, Louis Tong Qing Yao, 17, who stabbed the victim with a fruit knife, was sentenced to eight years in jail and 11 strokes. He had two other charges over loan shark harassment activities.
The fight arose out of bad blood between Ong and Dickson Ng Teck Seng, 21, who was in the same gang as Darren Ng. Ong turned up for a showdown at Downtown East with Dickson Ng, who did not turn up. Instead, Darren Ng and five others showed up.
The prosecution had pressed for at least 15 years in jail and 12 strokes for Ong, and between 12 and 15 years in jail and 10 strokes for each of the other four. But the youths' lawyer, Mr Subhas Anandan, asked for a lighter sentence, arguing they were young offenders capable of being rehabilitated. The five do not plan to appeal.
Six other accomplices have been ordered to be caned and jailed between four years and six years three months. The remaining one is expected to be sentenced on Sept 24.
Chen Win Zhen, 21: 10 years and 10 strokes of the cane
Ho Wui Ming, 22: 11 years and 10 strokes of the cane
[These two pictures from AsiaOne.com, 8 September 2012]]
Corpun file 24121 at www.corpun.com
The Straits Times, Singapore, 11 September 2012, p.30
Man gets 13 years' jail for rape and robbery
He also gets 24 strokes of the cane: judge says victim left emotionally scarred
By Selina Lum
WHEN a part-time cleaner saw a young woman getting out of a taxi past midnight and walking unsteadily, he concluded she was drunk and decided to follow and rob her.
Sivakumar Magendran, 23, forced her into a lift and demanded money but when she offered her handbag, he did not take it.
Instead, he took the 23-year-old salesgirl to a staircase landing between the fourth and fifth floors of the block in central Singapore and raped her.
He took her mobile phone, digital camera and about $230, thanked her and ran down the stairs.
Yesterday, he was sentenced to 13 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty in the High Court to one count each of rape and robbery.
Two unrelated charges - one for stealing $500 and the other for molesting a woman in a male toilet - were taken into consideration.
Justice Chan Seng Onn noted that the rape has left the victim - who was treated for post-traumatic stress disorder - emotionally scarred.
The woman, from Vietnam, became a Singapore citizen after she married a Singaporean.
She was making her way home at about 12.30am on May 16 last year after drinks with colleagues.
Before she could press the lift button, Sivakumar grabbed her neck from behind and told her in English to keep quiet.
He dragged her into the lift, glared at her and slid a finger across her neck - a gesture she understood to mean that he would kill her if she did not comply with his demands.
When the lift door opened, he pushed her out and walked her to the staircase landing and made a gesture, indicating that he wanted sex. Before raping her, he told her that she was very pretty.
After the rape, she returned to her flat and told her husband. He tried to look for the culprit but failed and called the police.
Sivakumar used the money taken from the victim to pay for sex with a prostitute in Geylang.
He also sold the victim's phone.
Sivakumar, who had a previous conviction for criminal breach of trust, was traced based on a DNA profile obtained from swabs taken from the victim's body. He was arrested on May 20 last year.
© Singapore Press Holdings Ltd.
Corpun file 24125 at www.corpun.com
The Straits Times, Singapore, 25 September 2012, p.B6
Fatal Downtown East fight
Youth involved in gang clash gets jail, caning
By Khushwant Singh
The last of 12 youths involved in a fatal gang clash in Downtown East two years ago was sentenced yesterday.
Ng Wei Lun, 20, who had pleaded guilty last month to being a member of an unlawful assembly out to cause grievous hurt to Mr Darren Ng Wei Jie, 19, was jailed for three years and three months and ordered to be caned three times.
The heaviest sentence among the dozen accomplices -- 12 years and 12 strokes -- was meted out early this month to 20-year-old ringleader Stilwell Ong Keat Pin.
He had sparked the fight and slashed polytechnic student Darren Ng with a chopper.
The fight arose out of bad blood between Ong and Dickson Ng Teck Seng, 21, who was in the same gang as Mr Darren Ng.
Ong turned up for a showdown at Downtown East with Mr Dickson Ng but the latter did not turn up. Instead, Darren Ng and five others showed up. Outside a fast-food outlet, Ong's group accused Mr Darren Ng and his group of staring at them.
Mr Darren Ng was armed with a retractable baton and a fight ensued. It ended with Ong and four accomplices slashing and stabbing Mr Darren Ng with their weapons.
He died some five hours later at Changi General Hospital and an autopsy revealed 28 wounds.
Court documents indicated that Ng Wei Lun's involvement in the fight was limited to using an arm to deflect a blow from the baton used by Mr Darren Ng.
In court yesterday, defence counsel Josephus Tan argued for his unemployed client to be sent for reformative training because of his youth and capability of being rehabilitated.
However, District Judge Liew Thiam Leng said a prison sentence was called for as the offence had been committed in the shopping and entertainment hub in full view of a crowd on a Saturday evening on Oct 30, 2010.
The brutal attack had also generated a level of concern and alarm among the public, the judge added. The maximum sentence is a seven-year jail term and 24 strokes of the cane.
Copyright © 2012 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.
Corpun file 24124 at www.corpun.com
The Straits Times, Singapore, 26 September 2012, p.32
Bogus cop jailed for sexually assaulting girl, 12
By Selina Lum
POSING as a police officer checking for drugs, a full-time national serviceman sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl -- but not before first checking her tongue.
Yesterday, Jafny Mohamed Sunny, 23, was jailed for 8½ years and ordered to be caned 12 times after he pleaded guilty to sexual assault, impersonating a public servant and outrage of modesty of a minor.
What made the case unusual was that he had ordered his victim, on her way home from school, to stick out her tongue. He touched it before violating her.
The incident on Oct 8, 2010 at a block of flats in eastern Singapore was not the only time he had shown a fixation with women's tongues. Between Sept 20 and Nov 23 that same year, pretending to be a police officer, he approached four other victims, aged 12 to 25, and ordered them to let him check their tongues.
After his arrest, he told an Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist that he had a constant urge to know if the tongues of girls from different races vary in length.
He denied deriving any sexual excitement from checking the tongues, but said it gave him "inner satisfaction". In his report, Dr Bharat Saluja said his initial diagnosis was that Jafny, who also had obsessions about cleanliness, had an obsessive compulsive disorder.
The court heard that Jafny, serving national service as a military police outrider, had rushed into the lift after the girl entered and pressed the button for the 12th floor. He told her he was a police officer and was checking her for drugs. He flashed his military police warrant card and told her to follow him.
At the rubbish chute area on the 13th floor, he ordered her to stick out her tongue. After touching it, he kissed and fondled her and made her perform oral sex.
Yesterday, Jafny's lawyer Mervyn Tan pleaded for leniency, saying his client could be rehabilitated with proper treatment.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Khoo argued that Jafny's offence was premeditated. He had worn his military police polo shirt, carried his warrant card and loitered around while waiting for a victim.
In sentencing, Justice Lee Seiu Kin noted the harm to the victim's innocence and how the route home has become a painful memory for her. But he also said that the rehabilitation of the young man is also important.
He took into consideration another seven charges, for impersonating a public servant, outrage of modesty and wrongful restraint.
Corpun file 24126 at www.corpun.com
The New Paper, Singapore, 27 September 2012
Youth jailed for Downtown East fight: I can't blame anybody but myself
By Joyce Lim
When his friends started smoking, he wanted a puff too.
Ng Wei Lun was only 14 then.
And when his friends started getting tattoos, he, too, went to get one across his chest.
But on Oct 30, 2010, when Ng decided to follow his friends to Downtown East, that decision would change his life.
The death of a youth in a fight at the Pasir Ris recreation centre led to Ng being initially charged with murder after he was arrested on Nov 18 that year.
Ng remained in remand for 10 months and was offered bail only after his charge was reduced to rioting in September last year.
It was the longest 10 months of his life, Ng told The New Paper in an interview last week.
"I spent all my time inside a prison cell. I got only an hour of sun every day. I lived each day not knowing what was going to happen next," he recalled.
"I was charged with murder and all I could think of was how I would have to face the death penalty. I was scared," Ng said in Mandarin.
On that fateful day, Ng's group of friends, some of whom were part of a secret society gang, got into a fight with a rival gang at Downtown East.
Ng's friends started the fight after accusing a rival gang member, Mr Darren Ng Wei Jie, of staring at them.
Mr Ng, 19, was slashed and died in hospital later that night.
On Monday, Ng was given a sentence of three years and three months in jail and three strokes of the cane for rioting.
He had pleaded guilty last month to being a member of an unlawful assembly out to cause grievous hurt to Mr Ng, a polytechnic student who was also a secret society member.
Twelve young men were charged in relation to the incident.
Stilwell Ong Keat Pin, 20, who had sparked the fight and slashed Mr Ng with a chopper, received the heaviest sentence of 12 years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane.
Ng's lawyer, Mr Josephus Tan, had argued for reformative training for Ng, saying that he was a first-time offender, young and fully capable of being rehabilitated.
Mr Tan also said that Ng was not a secret society member, but was just associated with the gang.
The mitigation documents stated that Ng did not hurt Mr Ng, but "had walked up to observe the melee and had also moved towards the fight after being taunted by one... gang member's girlfriend".
But District Judge Liew Thiam Leng said that a stiff sentence was called for as the offence had been committed in the shopping and entertainment hub in full view of a crowd on a weekend.
Ng can vividly recall the fight between the two gangs on that fateful day.
He told TNP that it was replayed in his mind more than a thousand times when he was in remand.
And with those replays were a series of "if only..."
If only he had not followed the group to Downtown East.
If only he had insisted on going to Orchard Road with Chong Rui Hong, 20 and Jason Chew Wei Beng, 22, as they had planned initially.
Chong was sentenced to four years' jail and three strokes of the cane and Chew got four years' jail and six strokes.
If only he had not moved towards the fight.
But Ng knew that it was no use crying over spilt milk.
"I can't blame anybody but myself. I chose to go and associate with the gang," he said.
"It was my day off and I had dressed up for a day out with my friends. I didn't want to just go home by myself, so I decided to follow them to Downtown East. I didn't think too much."
Ng, who had quit school after completing his Secondary 2 education, was helping out at his brother-in-law's claypot rice stall at that time.
After the fight at Downtown East, Ng went partying at Clarke Quay.
The following day, he received a call from one of the gang members, Ho Wui Ming, 22, informing him of Darren's death.
"Initially I thought he was joking. But he sounded very serious and I was shocked. I never thought anybody would be killed. I knew the police would come after me because I was there," Ng said.
So he gathered his courage and broke the news to his dad.
"My dad kept asking me "why?". Why did I follow my friends to Downtown East? Why did I get involved? I could not answer him," said Ng.
He said his father, a lorry driver, would visit him in prison every week.
The father declined to be interviewed.
When Ng was out on bail, he saw how his father had to work seven days a week to pay his lawyer's fees, Ng added.
He was full of regrets and felt that he had let his father down.
Ng's eyes welled up as he spoke about how well his single father had raised him and his siblings.
"My father would leave for work between 6am and 7am every day. He would return home at around 6pm and he would sweep and mop the floor and do our laundry every night.
"On his days off on Sundays, we would have breakfast together as a family. He would take a nap in the afternoon and we would have dinner together at night.
"But now he has to work on Sundays too."
Ng said he tried to lighten his father's burden by helping him with the housework, something he never used to do, when he was out on bail.
Seeing how much his dad was suffering for him, Ng said that he could imagine how painful it must have been for Mr Ng's parents.
"It must be devastating for them to lose their son. But it is also painful for the parents of all 12 of us who had been charged. Our parents are also suffering because of us," said Ng.
His girlfriend, Miss Shermin Sim, 18, told TNP that she has seen the change in Ng after his 10 months in remand.
She said: "His behaviour has improved a lot and he would spend more time with his family now."
But Ng knew that was all that he could do before he received his sentence.
He started serving his sentence on Monday.
Copyright © 2012. Singapore Press Holdings Ltd.
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