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Judicial CP - August 2003

Corpun file 11745

Straits Times, Singapore, 9 August 2003

Newton rape: Trio each get 16 years, 24 strokes

They had assaulted a pub waitress behind an ATM machine near Newton Food Centre in July 2001

By Karen Ho

THREE men who assaulted and raped a 22-year-old pub waitress near the Newton Food Centre in July 2001 were convicted in the High Court yesterday.

FOUND GUILTY: Testimonies found to be contradictory



THE offenders (from left) Mark Kalaivanan Tamilarasan, 24, Samynath Marimuthu, 25, and K. Balamuguran, 26, had denied raping the 22-year-old bar waitress, but Justice Choo Han Teck found all three men's testimonies "inconsistent and contradictory". They showed little reaction when their sentences were read out to them.

Mark Kalaivanan Tamilarasan, 24, Samynath Marimuthu, 25, and K. Balamuguran, 26, were each sentenced to 16 years in jail and 24 strokes of the cane.

As Justice Choo Han Teck read the sentences out to them, Samynath and Mark showed no reaction while Balamuguran had his eyes closed.

The three friends did not speak to or look at one another.

The victim was introduced to the trio by a female relative while they were drinking at a Boat Quay pub on July 10, 2001.

Both women sat and drank with them until about 2.30am, when the pub was about to close.

The group then left to have supper at the Newton Food Centre.

The victim was a bit tipsy and one of the three volunteered to call her boyfriend on her mobile phone. A little later, at about 3.30am, the men told the woman that her boyfriend was going to pick her up in a taxi near the ATM machine.

After escorting her there, they forced her to sit on the cement floor behind the machine.

Samynath tried to hug her but she pushed him away. All three then began to beat her.

Each took turns raping her, while the other two held her down and covered her mouth.

When they finished, she heard one of them saying that they were going to hit her again.

She managed to pull up her pants and dash out to the road, where she stopped a cab. She told the driver what had happened and he called the police.

Mark, Samynath and Balamuguran were arrested that same day.

During the nine-day trial, Mark's lawyer told the court that his client did not rape the woman but had consensual sex with her. He also claimed Mark had twice before slept with the woman.

Samynath said that he did not even have sex with the woman, but that they had kissed, and she had masturbated him.

In his defence, an unrepresented Balamuguran said he too did not have sex with the woman but admitted to slapping her because he wanted to knock her out so that they would have enough time to leave.

He also said he saw Samynath having sex with the woman.

Pleading for leniency yesterday, he said in a voice cracking up with emotion: 'This is the first case I have ever been accused of. I don't have a father, only a mother, and no one else is supporting her besides me.'

Before meting out their sentences, Justice Choo said he found their testimonies 'inconsistent and contradictory to the evidence of the independent witnesses but, more significantly, contradictory and inconsistent to each other's testimonies'.

Corpun file 11768

Straits Times, Singapore, 15 August 2003

Air force officer gets jail and caning for attack at Zouk

Lieutenant accused a man of bumping into him and smashed a wine glass in his face, causing cuts that needed 20 stitches

A SINGAPORE Air Force lieutenant was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in jail and three strokes of the cane for attacking a man with a wine glass in Zouk nightclub.

Kenneth Yeo Kwan Wee, 24, will appeal against the sentence.

Yeo and Mr Ian Tan Shien Ming, who is in his 20s and unemployed, had an argument at Zouk on Nov 24 last year.

Yeo accused Mr Tan of bumping into him deliberately and swung the wine glass into his face. It shattered on impact, cutting Mr Tan in several places on his left cheek. He was taken to hospital, where he needed more than 20 stitches.

His own father, Dr Tan Yew Ghee, a consultant at Raffles Hospital, tended to him. Dr Tan told the court that the injuries could have blinded his son.

Yeo was charged with causing hurt to Mr Tan.

Yeo's lawyer, Mr Subhas Anandan, told the court that Mr Tan's account was not reliable as he was not 'a paragon of virtue'.

He said Mr Tan had deliberately bumped into Yeo 'six or seven times' and screamed right into his ears.

Mr Tan, he said, could not remember many details about what had happened because 'he didn't want to remember details that put him in a bad light'.

Assistant Superintendent Lam Peng Choy, the prosecutor, told the court that Mr Tan had his eyes closed when the glass hit him, and had not seen Yeo being pushed towards him by the crowd.

Yeo could have been jailed for seven years.

Copyright @ 2003 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 11769

Straits Times, Singapore, 17 August 2003

18 strokes for man who robbed and molested woman

FIRST he robbed her, then he exposed himself to her and asked her to masturbate him. When she refused, the 22-year-old salesman molested her.

Salesman Ow Sing Hai will get 5 years' jail and 18 strokes of the cane.

All the while, Ow Sing Hai pointed a paper cutter at the 20-year-old woman he had cornered in a lift at a block of flats in Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4 on April 2.

On Friday, he pleaded guilty to four charges - robbery, insulting modesty and two counts of aggravated molest.

He was sentenced to a total of 5 years' jail and 18 strokes of the cane by District Judge Jasvender Kaur, who backdated his sentence to April 30.

Five other charges were taken into consideration.

Ow had demanded money from the young woman as they were going up in a lift. She took out $50 and RM100 (S$46) from her bag and handed it to him.

When the lift door opened, he made sure she could not get out by blocking her way.

Then, he unzipped his trousers and asked her to masturbate him. She refused and squatted down. At which point, he touched her thigh.

When the lift door opened again on the 10th floor, she managed to run out and reported the incident to the police.

It was not the first time Ow had committed such acts.

Last December, he got into a lift with a 22-year-old woman at a block of flats at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 3.

When the lift door opened on the seventh floor, he suddenly pushed her against the lift wall.

When she shouted for help, he pointed a paper cutter at her and told her to shut up, and then molested her.

The police arrested Ow on April 15, after setting an ambush for him at Choa Chu Kang Central because they suspected him of being involved in a series of robbery and outraging of modesty cases.

Corpun file 11812

Straits Times, Singapore, 21 August 2003

Convicted trafficker to testify against 'boss'

Sentenced to 20 years' jail and 24 strokes, he will give evidence against another man who had been jointly charged with trafficking in cannabis

By Elena Chong
Court Correspondent

A MAN convicted of drug trafficking, and who escaped the death penalty by a hair's breadth, will turn state witness to testify against another man whose trial begins today.

Dhanabalan A. Gopalkrishnan, 33, an operations executive who became a hawker after being laid off by NatSteel last year, had at first been charged jointly with the other man with trafficking at least 2.7kg of cannabis and nearly 750g of cannabis mixture.

Their trial was to have begun on Tuesday.

However, Dhanabalan decided to admit his guilt and was sentenced yesterday to 20 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane.

He admitted that he and the other man had trafficked in 'vegetable matter' containing not less than 499.99g of cannabis - 0.01g short of triggering the death penalty - on Feb 24 this year, and also in 749.97g of cannabis mixture.

In February, Dhanabalan had been laid off for about six months and was short of money.

This is when the other man suggested he run a food stall in a coffee shop in Teban Gardens Road and earn some money on the side by 'doing work' for him.

The man took Dhanabalan to his flat in Block 24, Teban Gardens Road, took out a block of cannabis, a small weighing scale, a chopper, a cutting board and masking tape, and showed him how to chop the block into smaller blocks of about 50g each, then weigh and wrap them in plastic and tape them up.

Dhanabalan was to be paid $100 for each 1kg block cut and packed.

On Feb 24, as instructed the day before, Dhanabalan went to a rented room in Block 52 where he weighed 10 large blocks from a black haversack, cut up one block into 19 portions and wrapped them as instructed.

However, Dhanabalan drew the line when he was asked to take the smaller packs to the food stall. He refused to do so.

Both men were arrested that day and about 9kg of drugs worth $93,000 on the street were recovered from the rented room.

Lawyer Subhas Anandan, together with Mr Anand Nalachandran, said in mitigation that Dhanabalan was never the mastermind, but merely did what he was told for small sums.

Dhanabalan, who is married and has one child, was a victim of the economic downturn, said Mr Subhas.

He is genuinely remorseful, has admitted his wrongdoing and will be a material witness for the prosecution, Mr Subhas added.

Copyright @ 2003 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

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