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Judicial CP - March 2003

Straits Times, Singapore, 1 March 2003

Runaway jailed, caned for taking part in killing

He beat up secret society member before another man stabbed him; judge says his role in man's death cannot be discounted

A MAN who fled Singapore three years ago after taking part in the killing a fellow secret society member was finally punished for it yesterday.

DEPORTED AND NABBED: After serving two years in a French jail for drug trafficking, Tay was deported and arrested at Changi Airport last July. Two of his three alleged accomplices are still at large. The third is in jail in Cambodia for drug trafficking.

Robson Tay Teik Chai, 36, was sentenced by the High Court to nine years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane for the culpable homicide of odd-job labourer Leong Fook Weng, also 36.

Last July, the law caught up with him at Changi Airport, when he flew in from France after serving two years there for drug trafficking.

The victim was stabbed to death at a vacant plot near a cemetery in Kheam Hock Road between 5am and 6am on May 17, 2000. He was found in only his underwear.

Three others are wanted in connection with the killing.

One of them, See Chee Keong, 37, is now behind bars in Cambodia for drug trafficking, while the other two, Ong Chin Huat, 41, and Lim Hin Teck, 36, are at large.

The day Mr Leong was stabbed, Lim complained to the three and one William Ho Kah Wei over a late supper at a River Valley Road coffee shop that he was unhappy with Mr Leong over remarks he had made.

He arranged to meet the victim after the meal at a wake in Upper Boon Keng Road.

At the carpark there, three of the five confronted Mr Leong and Tay punched him in the face.

Then they all left together to see their secret society headman, so Mr Leong could return him some $1,000 he owed.

After he dropped off the money, Tay and the others continued beating up Mr Leong in their car, driven by See.

See, who believed that the victim was trying to woo his girlfriend, warned that they should not 'keep the person', but should find a secluded place to teach him a lesson.

They decided on the cemetery.

When they got to the one at Kheam Hock Road, three of the men continued battering Mr Leong, who was so badly injured by that point that he could not retaliate or run.

When See took a sharp instrument from the car, Ho begged him not to kill the man.

But See protested that they would all die if they were to 'keep the person'.

He allegedly stabbed the victim to death and removed his clothes.

The next day Tay, See and Lim fled to Thailand.

Ho, 22, formerly known as Soh Tan Huat, was picked up on May 31, 2000, to help with police investigations.

Last month, he was given the maximum jail term of six months for not reporting the crime.

Yesterday, Tay's lawyer, Mr Singa Retnam, who was assisted by Mr Chia Boon Teck, said in mitigation that his client had never intended to cause Mr Leong grievous bodily harm or to kill him and was extremely remorseful for what had happened.

But Justice Choo Han Teck said the fact remained that the dead man had been subjected to a long and brutal assault and Tay's participation could not be discounted.

Straits Times, Singapore, 11 March 2003

Hand severed in fight: 3 teens get jail and caning

THREE youths will go behind bars and be caned for their involvement in a gang fight that led to a 13-year-old boy's hand being severed.

Yesterday, Abdul Rahman Rahmat, 16, was sentenced to three years and four months' jail and six strokes of the cane. Muhammad Nazri Khairudin, 17, and Muhammad Khairul Azhar Ismail, 16, were both sentenced to three years' jail and six strokes each.

All three had pleaded guilty to rioting with weapons last month.

A fourth teenager, Khairul Amir Rahimee, 16, who had admitted to only rioting, will be sentenced at the end of this month.

In earlier hearings, alleged gang leader Shahrun Adam Angullia, 17, and another youth accused of taking part in the attack, Muhammad Khairul Anwar Mohamed Rosli, 16, claimed trial. Their cases will be heard later.

The remaining three, including a 14-year-old boy who hacked off four fingers and part of the left palm of the 13-year-old, were sent to the Boys' Home last year.

In court yesterday afternoon, about 50 family members and friends of the four youths packed the gallery, waiting anxiously for the judge's sentence.

District Judge F.G. Remedios said that while the four were young and first-time offenders, the facts of the case left him 'of the view that a deterrent sentence is called for'.

Muhammad Khairul Azhar Ismail's mother and girlfriend were inconsolable, weeping as they left the court.

Others were more stoic. Abdul Rahman's father, Mr Rahmat Mohamed Ali, 43, said: 'What has been done is done. We have to accept what the law says.'

Armed with parangs, a knife and a steel chain, the nine had confronted seven rival gang members near Block 665, Woodlands Ring Road, on Sept 19 night last year.

Four youths from the rival gang have been convicted and sent to the Reformative Training Centre.

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