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Judicial CP - October 2005

Corpun file 16756

The Star, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1 October 2005

Lion City

Couple jailed for extortion bid

[SINGAPORE --] A COUPLE admitted in a district court on Thursday that they tried to extort S$4mil (RM9mil) from the head of a disc manufacturing company in exchange for stolen items worth S$680 (RM1,500). 

The stolen items were CD stampers used to produce Microsoft programmes. 

Wang Dongsheng, 21, and his girlfriend, Song Cui, 20, both Chinese nationals working here, threatened that the company would suffer if Microsoft found out about the stolen items. 

Ng Leok Cheng, 45, the managing director of the company which manufactures products such as CDs and DVDs, agreed to pay them S$100,000 (RM223,000).  

But he alerted the police, who nabbed the two. 

Both Wang and Song were jailed for 27 months.  

Wang was also ordered to be given three strokes of the cane. 

The couple admitted they had worked with an accomplice, Li Wei, 20, also a Chinese national.  

His case will be heard on Oct 11. 

Wang was an electronics fitter while Li was an electronics engineering technician at the company.  

Song worked as a production engineering technician with another company in Woodlands. 

The court heard that on the night of Aug 12, Li took two CD stampers used by the company to produce Microsoft software programmes and a CD containing a sample of the data in the stampers. 

He allegedly hid the items in his work clothes and handed them to Wang the next day.  

Wang passed them to his girlfriend, who kept the stampers and CD in her dormitory room. – The Straits Times/ANN  

1995-2005 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

Corpun file 16788

Straits Times, Singapore, 11 October 2005

Serial robber gets 13 years' jail, caning

The victim of his latest robbery, a masseuse, died 10 days after assault

By Selina Lum

WALKING home in the early hours, a man saw a woman sitting, apparently drunk, at the void deck of his block of flats - and decided to rob her.

Yazid: 24 strokes of the cane
PUNISHED: Mohamad Yazid Gani, 29, will get the maximum 24 strokes of the cane.

Mohamad Yazid Gani, 29, had robbed before but this time, it ended in the death of the victim.

Ms Helena Lee, a 44-year-old masseuse, died in hospital 10 days after she was punched, kicked and pushed by Yazid. Her head hit a stone table and she fell face down on the ground.

Yazid was jailed by the High Court for 13 years and ordered to be caned the maximum 24 strokes after pleading guilty to hurting Ms Lee while robbing her of her mobile phone and handbag which contained about $80 and personal documents.

Yazid had previously been jailed for a year for possessing heroin.

He also admitted to three other robbery charges and one count of cheating by impersonation.

Four other unrelated charges were taken into consideration.

He was arrested at the carpark near his flat on March 3 this year, 17 days after he attacked Ms Lee at the void deck of the block at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5.

He had chanced upon Ms Lee alighting from a taxi at about 3am on Feb 15.

He crept up from behind as she sat down at a table and punched her head. When she tried to stand up, he kicked her leg. She lost her balance and fell face down.

About 15 minutes later, Ms Lee's daughter came downstairs to meet her and found her mother bleeding from the head.

Ms Lee was taken to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where she died 10 days later of meningitis following her head injury.

The court also heard that Yazid had been involved in a string of robberies earlier.

On Jan 14, he abetted four others to rob two men at the basement of Peninsula Hotel Shopping Centre by posing as police officers.

He handed over handcuffs which the others used to restrain the victims. They were robbed of $650, three mobile phones and a watch.

On the night of Jan 26, at a fast-food restaurant at Odeon Towers, Yazid and an accomplice posed as police officers to rob a teenager of his mobile phone and $300.

In the early hours of Jan 28, at a park in Hougang, Yazid, accompanied by two others, punched and kicked a 28-year-old insurance agent, robbing him of valuables worth more than $2,000.

Yazid's lawyer, Mr Ong Peng Boon, said he had been out of work for a few months and was driven to crime by desperation.

Yazid also submitted a letter to the judge, pleading for leniency.

'Please give me a chance to redeem myself...You are the only one who is able to help me,' he wrote. 'You have the final word to my sentence and my future.'

Corpun file 16849

Straits Times, Singapore, 19 October 2005

The day he gave police the slip

Tok Poh Oon got a shot at freedom when a policeman, unaware that he was a murder suspect, did not handcuff him

By Elena Chong

A POLICE officer who did not notice that the prisoner in his custody was under a special murder watch presented the man with an opportunity to escape, sparking a 50-hour islandwide manhunt in June this year.

Tok Poh Oon
ON THE RUN: Tok flagged down a cab and went to Orchard Plaza, where he borrowed money from passers-by to pay the cab fare and buy a pair of jeans.

Details of how Tok Poh Oon managed to give police the slip emerged in court yesterday, when he was sentenced to 10 years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane for the killing of Mr Tan Ong Ngar, 40, over the fee for a massage in February.

On June 10, Tok had appeared in court on an unrelated minor charge.

He had been caught smoking in the lock-up at the Subordinate Courts on April 1 and, after his family had paid the fine on his behalf, he had to go to court to receive an order of discharge amounting to an acquittal.

On that day, Staff Sergeant Fathul Rahim Abdul Rahman, 39, had been the lead escort taking 38 prisoners from the Queenstown Remand Prison to the Subordinate Courts.

However, Staff Sgt Fathul failed to notice that on the court list, 36-year-old Tok was categorised 'SW Murder' - or 'Special Watch Murder' - which indicated that officers needed to pay special attention to him.

There was also an accompanying special code to alert the officer that Tok had been charged with murder and had to be taken back to the remand prison in Jalan Penjara.

After the court had given him a discharge amounting to an acquittal on the smoking charge, Staff Sgt Fathul, unaware that Tok was an accused murderer, did not handcuff him and presumed that he would only be escorting him back to Queenstown to retrieve his belongings.

As the police escort bus was about to leave the courts, Staff Sgt Fathul suddenly directed that Tok be taken out of the police bus transporting the other prisoners and put by himself in the back of a police escort van.

When the van got back to Jalan Penjara, Tok bolted. He flagged down a cab and went to Orchard Plaza, where he borrowed money from passers-by and used it to pay the cab fare and buy a pair of jeans.

He then contacted his girlfriend, 20-year-old Magdeline Tan Pei Lin, who flew in from New Zealand and spent the whole day with him at Orchard Cineleisure. Two days later, after an islandwide manhunt, he was arrested while having dinner with her in Liang Seah Street.

In August, she was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal for intentionally preventing him from being apprehended. She may still be charged.

Tok's escape, and the escape two days earlier of illegal immigrant Thangavelu Velu, prompted MPs to raise questions in Parliament, which in turn led to changes in the way prisoners are taken to and from the courts.

Suspects facing capital charges now have to wear different coloured clothing from other prisoners to enable officers to distinguish them more readily. Suspects are also now ferried to the Subordinate Courts in smaller vehicles rather than buses, so that they can park in a secure area inside the court compound.

Police spokesman Stanley Norbert said it was inappropriate to comment on Tok's escape at this time as they are still conducting an investigation.

Corpun file 16869

Straits Times, Singapore, 22 October 2005

Stabbing victim asks judge to be lenient to attacker

THEY are still friends - even though one stabbed the other over a staring incident.

The victim, odd-job labourer Chua Guan Huat, 36, even wrote a letter of appeal for his attacker, Lee Lam Huat, 46, urging a 'light sentence'.

But District Judge Tan Puay Boon was not moved. He sentenced Lee, unemployed, to 16 months' jail and six strokes of the cane for stabbing Mr Chua outside Block 12, Telok Blangah Crescent on Aug 23 this year. Lee pleaded guilty.

Mr Chua, his wife and some friends were seated at a table outside the coffee shop of the block that evening when he got into a dispute with Lee.

Lee accused Mr Chua of staring at him. Suddenly, grabbing a knife nearby, he stabbed Mr Chua.

Mr Chua tried to run away, but Lee chased after him and stabbed him a few more times in the back.

Mr Chua had a 2cm-long stab wound on the right side of his back, two cuts on his left arm and a small puncture wound in his left rib region.

In mitigation, Lee's counsel said he had been the sole breadwinner of the family until he was retrenched as a deliveryman late last year. Lee, who surrendered himself six days later, realised his action was 'intolerable' and foolish. He felt he had betrayed a friend.

Lee could have been jailed for up to five years or fined or caned, or received any two of the punishments.

Copyright 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

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