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Judicial CP - February 2004

Corpun file 12779

Straits Times, Singapore, 21 February 2004

Fatal stabbing of groom-to-be: Jail, caning for four

Two get nine years' jail and two, six years, for deadly disco fight; sentencing of fifth man put off pending a reformative training report

By Elena Chong
Court Correspondent

FOUR of the five men who admitted they were involved in a disco brawl that ended in a fatal stabbing were sentenced to jail and caning by the High Court yesterday.

Pending a reformative training report, the court postponed sentencing the youngest of the five, 19-year-old Ali Abdul Rahman, who was said to be 'less involved in the fight'.

Ali, Mohammad Fadzil Shah Kamaruddin, 22, Ansafuddin Abdullah, 24, Mohamed Zakir Mohamed Ayub, 22, and Mohammad Zahari Saad, 23, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to being part of an unlawful assembly, of which one or more members stabbed Mr Aidi Ali.

Fadzil and Zahari received the same sentence: nine years' jail and 10 strokes of the cane. Ansafuddin got six years and three strokes; and Zakir, six years and six strokes.

It happened on Jan 25 last year at Silver Tortoise Super Dangdut Dance Club at Orchard Point while Mr Aidi, 31, was with eight relatives and friends celebrating his upcoming wedding.

He had gone to the dance floor a few times to dance, once with a drink in his hand, which was not allowed, and once on stage.

At about 2.30am, near closing time, he was seen taking off his shirt at his seat and walking towards the dance floor.

When a security officer advised him to put on his shirt, he started arguing with him, prompting the manager and other security men to intervene.

Mr Aidi's fiancee and a colleague calmed him down.

It was then that he was confronted by Fadzil and Zakir, and the others, who had been at another table.

Each side named its secret society affiliation and a fight broke out.

The men hurled glasses, jugs and ashtrays at Mr Aidi. Fadzil stabbed Mr Aidi in the stomach and Zahari attacked him with a kris.

Ansafuddin claimed he picked up a kerambit, a sickle-like weapon, from the floor but threw it back at some point.

Justice M.P.H. Rubin described this as 'improbable'.

'Although there was no evidence from anyone seeing him using the kerambit to cause hurt, that feature alone does not diminish his role in the whole episode,' he said.

The judge said the club's management and security personnel should have been 'more robust and alive' to their responsibility and nipped the problem in the bud. 'But regrettably, they were found to be not equal to their responsibilities.

'The result was a free-for-all between two overly inebriated, mindless and ego-driven factions announcing themselves to be from two rival gangs,' he said.

Even if Mr Aidi had taunted the men, their violence, which led to Mr Aidi's death - all under a false perception of group loyalty - could not be treated lightly.

He said: 'Those who resort to violence, those who take the law into their own hands and those who subscribe to the false notion of bravado and gang loyalty would inevitably have to face the product of their own evil sooner than they would think.'

Copyright @ 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

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