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Judicial CP - August 2001

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The Straits Times, Singapore, 8 August 2001

'Career' criminal's jail term upped to 20 years on appeal

Sentence doubled for man, 36, a habitual thief

By Alethea Lim
Court Correspondent

SIAH Chin Teck has been stealing and breaking into homes since he was 15 years old.

Now 36, he has already served a total of 17 years in jail, and been caned on two occasions. But, that has obviously not deterred him from a life of crime.

Last October, he broke into a temple in Tiong Bahru, and stole $400. In March this year, he broke into yet another temple in Geylang and stole $1,200.

Now, he has 20 years in preventive detention ahead of him. Preventive detention is reserved for recalcitrant offenders. They do not get early release for good behaviour.

He had been originally sentenced in May by a district court to 10 years preventive detention and 12 strokes of the cane for the two burglaries and drug consumption.

Siah appealed against the punishment, but his protest backfired.

Yesterday, Chief Justice Yong Pung How gave him the maximum 20 years in preventive detention.

Conducting his own appeal, he had told the High Court that he hoped to be given a 'last chance'.

Referring to his past 15 convictions, CJ Yong shot back: 'But you have had 15 last chances already.'

The CJ noted that if Siah was released from his 10-year preventive detention sentence, he was likely to return to crime again.

'So why give him 10 years? He should get the maximum 20 years to keep out of mischief,' he said.

Siah started his career in crime in November 1980 when he was sent to the Singapore Boys' Home for three years for housebreaking and theft.

Between 1982 and 1997, he was jailed and caned for a series of housebreaking and theft offences.

Copyright © 2000 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 7561 at


The Straits Times, Singapore, 12 August 2001

Teenager stole phones, had sex with minor

By Elena Chong

A TEENAGE bully who stole mobile phones from students received a sentence of 31 months in jail and six strokes of the cane. His crime spree came to an end after he and a young accomplice were arrested after stealing a mobile phone from a boy on May 11.

Liau Shin Shan, 17, unemployed, and his 12-year-old accomplice threatened a 13-year-old student with a beating if he did not hand over his mobile phone. Liau was arrested three days later.

In a district court on Friday, Liau pleaded guilty to robbery and theft. He also admitted to charges of committing mischief and having sex with a 15-year-old girl at his parents' Yishun flat. When the underage girl became pregnant, he told her to abort the baby, which she did on June 4.

Liau had four offences considered, including the possession of six stolen bicycles.

Copyright © 2000 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 7580 at


The Straits Times, Singapore, 25 August 2001

Youth jailed for stabbing over computer game

He was so enraged when his game character was killed that he knifed the teen who did the virtual slaying

DANIEL Tan Thiam Soon, 21, takes his computer games seriously. Some might say too seriously for comfort.

One night, when his game character was stabbed to death during a computer game, he retaliated by knifing a fellow player who had carried out the virtual reality killing in the back.

Yesterday, District Judge Rahim Jalil sentenced the youth to six years' jail and six strokes of the cane.

On Feb 21 this year, at about 11.30 pm, Tan, who is unemployed, was playing Counterstrike in a computer gaming centre at Tampines.

A district court heard that other players on different terminals can join in the game, in which players take on the roles of terrorists and anti-terrorists and slug it out over hostages.

One of the players who was taking part in the fray that day was Ng Qiyong, 16.

In the middle of the game, Tan suddenly yelled out who had 'killed' his computer game character.

When Qiyong confessed it was his game character, Tan hurled vulgarities at him.

He then stormed over to Qiyong's computer terminal and a scuffle ensued.

During the scuffle, Tan pulled out a knife and stabbed the teen in the back.

Tan's victim suffered a 1-cm-deep cut and the wound had to be stitched. Tan was subsequently arrested.

While he was out on bail, he consumed drugs.

On Thursday, Tan pleaded guilty to hurting his victim, as well as consuming and possessing drugs.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Paul Chia urged the court to impose a deterrent sentence on the youth.

He said that Tan, who has a previous conviction for possessing offensive weapons, had not learnt his lesson.

In the latest attack, the DPP argued, Tan had brought a knife to the gaming arcade.

The court was told too that Tan's drug offences, while he was out on police bail, were aggravating factors because they demonstrated his lack of remorse.

The nature of the attack was also serious, the DPP added.

Copyright © 2000 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 7591 at


The Straits Times, Singapore, 27 August 2001

Housebreaker back in jail for 20 years

The 47-year-old, released two years ago after a long spell in jail, was put behind bars again for 16 housebreaking offences over five months

DARZUKI Ombri does not seem to learn from his mistakes.

Repeat offender Darzuki targeted Bukit Timah area in his crime spree.

He spent 12 years in preventive detention for a string of offences, including robbery and housebreaking. He also received eight strokes of the cane.

But about two years after his release in 1999, the 47-year-old bachelor was back to his old ways.

He committed a series of housebreaking offences - all during the daytime - and stole over $190,000 worth of property.

Last Saturday, District Judge See Kee Oon sentenced the man to the maximum of 20 years in preventive detention and 18 strokes of the cane.

Public interest must be protected, the judge said.

Preventive detention is reserved for hardcore criminals. Those sentenced to it are required to serve the full term.

Darzuki's criminal history dates back to 1970, when he was 16 years old.

He specialised in theft and housebreaking and spent at least 13 years in jail. Once, he was sent for reformative training.

For his latest offences, he and two accomplices targeted houses in Bukit Timah.

Between February and June, they broke into 16 homes and made off with expensive items such as gold rings, jewellery, Rolex watches, cameras and, on one occasion, a laptop.

Darzuki either pawned or sold the stolen property.

While breaking into one home on June 24, he was spotted by the owner of the house.

He and his accomplices fled the scene but, in the rush, Darzuki dropped his mobile phone.

The police recovered it and traced it back to him.

One of his accomplices was jailed for two years, while the other is still at large.

Copyright © 2001 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 7592 at


The Straits Times, Singapore, 28 August 2001

Midnight attack

Three beaten up by robbers

THREE friends having a midnight chat at a void deck of an HDB block in Hougang were attacked by six robbers.

Mr Ng Choon Ching, 20, was hit on his neck, forehead and left shoulder. He also lost a bag containing about $1,000 worth of items, such as a mobile phone, a wallet and a radio.

His two companions, Mr Foo Chih Hui and Mr Teo Wee Khoon, both 20, were not spared. Mr Foo was hit on the shoulders and head, and was robbed of his $588 mobile phone.

Mr Teo was punched in the head, stomach and body, but did not lose anything. After the attack, the robbers left in two taxis, to share the loot later .

Yesterday, three of the robbers - Mohammad Rashid Hatnan, 26, Ismanzah Juma'at, 19, and Jubil Salleh, 31, were each sentenced to 10 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for committing robbery with hurt.

Mohammad Rashid and Ismanzah are odd-job labourers.

Jubil, who is jobless, has to serve an additional year for failing to report for three urine tests.

The judge also took into consideration other drug charges in sentencing the three.

The cases for the other three robbers are pending. Two are juveniles aged 14 and 15 and cannot be named under the law. The last is Mohammad Iswandy Aziz, 17, a part-time mover.

Although only two of them were armed - Jubil with a wooden stick and Ismanzah with an umbrella - all took part in the attack, using their fists and weapons.

Copyright @ 2000 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 7593 at


The Straits Times, Singapore, 29 August 2001

The Chief Justice rules on ...

Man who commits crime after crime

Corrective training for unreformed drug offender -- for beating and stealing from man who performed oral sex on him -- is increased to 12 years

By Alethea Lim
Court Correspondent

JABERALI Abbas has a track record of committing crimes whenever he is released from jail or placed under drug supervision.

Jaberali Abbas, 30, was sentenced to eight years of corrective training and 12 strokes of cane.

So the prosecution decided the 30-year-old should be put away for a long time.

Yesterday, it was successful in appealing against Jaberali's sentence of eight years of corrective training and 12 strokes of the cane for robbery with hurt and having oral sex with another man.

In increasing the corrective training to 12 years, Chief Justice Yong Pung How called Jaberali a 'regular offender'.

Corrective training is a jail term of five to 14 years without parole.

The court heard that on Nov 10 last year, a 40-year-old man performed oral sex on Jaberali at a multi-storey carpark at Block 668A, Choa Chu Kang Crescent.

Five minutes later, Jaberali left to return a call on his pager.

When he came back, he bashed the man unconscious.

Jaberali then stole his victim's wallet containing $100 cash and his ATM cards, as well as a $300 mobile phone.

In 1988, when he was 17, Jaberali had been placed on probation for housebreaking.

Five years later, he committed the same offence.

Then, that same year, he was jailed for nine months for going absent without leave while serving his national service in the Singapore Civil Defence Force.

After his release, he committed another theft.

Then, while he was under drug supervision in 1994, he committed robbery with hurt.

Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Cheng Thiam said that Jaberali had continued to lead a life of crime despite being sentenced to a total of seven years and two months in jail.

Jaberali had not shown any remorse for his crimes and had a propensity towards violence from a young age.

When CJ Yong asked Jaberali for his response to the DPP's appeal, the offender said he wanted a retrial of the robbery with hurt charge.

'I'm innocent,' he said.

When the CJ noted that the evidence was clear that Jaberali was involved in the crimes, the recalcitrant insisted a friend named Saravanan was the real culprit.

But CJ Yong did not believe the claims and upped the sentence.

Copyright © 2001 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

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