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Judicial CP - October 1992

Straits Times, Singapore, 13 October 1992

Woman picks out rapist from a line-up of masked men

By Tan Ooi Boon

A RAPE cum robbery victim picked out her attacker from a police identification parade in which all the people were masked.

Each of the 10 men in the parade were told to cover their faces with pieces of cloth up to their noses because the victim only say half of her assailant's face, which was covered with a towel, during the attack.

After Goh Lye Seng alias Dang Chin Por, 32, had been singled out by the 37-year-old production operator, police found that his left palm impression matched the three clear prints which were taken from the scene of the crime.

Yesterday, Goh, a vegetable stall assistant, pleaded guilty to robbing and raping the woman, who is married with two children, at her flat in Tampines on June 14, 1990, around 1 pm.

Justice S. Rajendran sentenced him to seven years' jail and 12 strokes for the robbery and seven years' jail and three strokes for raping the victim. Both sentences are to run consecutively.

The High Court heard that Goh entered the flat by climbing through the front bedroom window, which faced the corridor, after he removed a padlock on the window grille.

With his face masked, he went to the master bedroom and saw the woman resting on her bed. Before she could do anything, Goh pounced on her and pointed his screwdriver at her right cheek.

He warned her that he would stab her if she shouted. He then tied her hands and legs with towel strips and strings.

The victim was also gagged and blindfolded. After that Goh ransacked the room but could not find anything valuable.

He demanded to know where the woman had kept her money as he found only $15 in her purse. He then removed her gold chain and gold pendant.

Later, after Goh finished searching the room, he undressed the victim and raped her.

Afterwards, he loosened the knot on the victim's hand and left the flat.

Goh was arrested five months later.

He had been previously sentenced to a total of nine years' jail and 21 strokes on three occasions after he was convicted of house-breaking in 1981, 1984 and 1988.

In passing sentence, Justice S. Rajendran said that Goh had not learnt his lesson despite having a long history of convictions.

Corpun file 06666

Straits Times, Singapore, 16 October 1992

Man escapes death after murder charge is reduced

A JOBLESS man being tried for murder escaped the gallows yesterday but was sentenced instead to three years' jail and six strokes of the rotan when he admitted to reduced charges.

Judicial Commissioner Amarjeet Singh yesterday replaced the murder charge against Karnan Arumugam, 26, with a wrongful confinement charge and added a grievous hurt charge.

He ruled that there was no case against Karnan for having a common intention with a friend to murder brothel caretaker Lim Kar Tek, 52. His friend is still at large.

Mr Lim's naked body was found bound and gagged in a room at the brothel at Lorong 6, Geylang on Dec. 3, 1989. He suffocated when a towel tied tightly round his mouth pushed his tongue back, blocking the air passage.

Reducing the charge at the close of the prosecution's case, the judge accepted forensic pathologist Professor Chao Tzee Cheng's expert evidence that:

-- GAGGING was "seldom intentionally homicidal";

-- A VICTIM did not necessarily die in all gagging cases;

-- GAGGING did not necessarily result in the tongue being pushed back into the air passage.

Mr Lim's death was "fortuitous", he added.

The evidence was that Karnan and three friends went to Mr Lim's brothel. The friends were sexually entertained by a prostitute, but felt they had been overcharged.

They planned to rob Mr Lim, but changed their minds.

Mr Lim then made advances towards Karnan after undressing him and one of his friends. Karnan, angered that he had been fondled by Mr Lim, attacked him.

In his police statement, Karnan said that he stepped on and kicked Mr Lim's stomach, then tied his legs. He then asked his friend to tie Mr Lim's hands and gag him to prevent him from making any noise.

Before imposing sentence, the judge chided Karnan for being unnecessarily violent as he broke Mr Lim's rib and bruised another. Tying Mr Lim up was also vicious, he added.

Defence lawyer Subbas Anandan, assisted by Miss Suchitra Ragupathy, had maintained that there was no case for Karnan to answer as there was no evidence that there was a common intention to murder Mr Lim.

The prosecution's case, led by Deputy Public Prosecutors Palaniappan Sundararaj and Salina Ishak, was that the common intention was to rob Mr Lim, and the act of tying Mr Lim was done to facilitate this act. The injury which caused Mr Lim's death was inflicted intentionally.

Karnan has previous convictions for burglary, theft and robbery with hurt. Sentence was backdated to Oct. 20, 1990.

Corpun file 11869

Straits Times, Singapore, 23 October 1992

High-tech method cracks decade-old burglary case

A crime committed nearly 10 years ago was solved recently, thanks to new fingerprinting detection technology.

Police using the system, called the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (Afis), found that the right thumb and little finger of the accused, Leong Kim Mun, 35, matched those of fingerprints found at the scene of a burglary in 1983.

The fingerprints were stored in the Afis databank.

mugshotLeong's prints came up when the police decided to review a burglary involving $1,370 in cash and jewellery from a flat in Block 48, Yung Sheng Road, Jurong, on Feb 22 in 1983.

Using the Afis technique, with a detection machine linked to a computer, police traced the prints to those of Leong's.

The Afis, a $10-million system installed in June last year, stores more than 180,000 fingerprints from people convicted of various crimes.

It has a matching processor which can compare up to 800 prints a second and search for the identical print, or ones which most closely resemble the wanted fingerprint.

Leong admitted the burglary when confronted by police. Yesterday, he pleaded guilty in court to house-breaking.

District Judge Francis Tseng sentenced Leong to two years' jail and three strokes of the cane.

He also ordered the sentence to run after Leong had completed a current sentence of 33 months and 18 strokes, imposed on Feb 18 this year, for another house-breaking offence.

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