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Judicial CP - November 1997

Corpun file 1730


The New Paper, Singapore, 18 November 1997

Snatch! Snatch! Snatch! Then he met his match

By Woon Wui Tek


Sng Shin Tiong was sentenced to six years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for one count of causing hurt during robbery and three of theft with criminal force.

One other count of theft with criminal force and two of possessing stolen property were taken into account during sentencing.

GRAB the gold and get away. That's how Sng Shin Tiong operated.

Then he grabbed at the wrong chain. On one gutsy woman.

So no gold, no getaway. Instead, it's jail and caning for Sng, 25.

In four days beginning on Oct 13, he snatched four gold chains worth a total of $1,400. Three of the chains ended up in a pawnshop.

Then around 2 pm on Oct 17, Sng zeroed in on 37-year-old Zainab Abu at the void deck of Block 138, Yishun Ring Road.

He came up from behind and yanked at her $3,000 gold chain.

But the thick chain did not give way. And Ms Zainab put up a struggle.

Sng punched her on the back and she fell to the ground. He then seized her black handbag and ran.

But she picked herself up and ran after him. She was determined to retrieve her bag and its contents worth about $370.

Despite losing sight of him, she didn't give up.

She asked passers-by if they had seen him.

One man, Mr Saw Chee Wah, had seen Sng run up the staircase of Block 127, Yishun St 11.

Calling on two more passers-by, Mr Saw dashed after Sng.

After a floor-to-floor search, Sng was finally found - hiding behind a pillar on the fourth floor.

He made one last attempt to run away. But this time, he was captured.

Ms Zainab had to go to hospital for a scraped forehead, tenderness over her right upper back and a swollen right ankle.

In court yesterday, Sng claimed he was the sole breadwinner in his family, and that he had not intended to hurt his victim.

Corpun file 2089

The Press, Christchurch, New Zealand, 20 November 1997

Singapore caning ruling concerns NZ officials

Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials are pondering yesterday's Singapore court ruling that a New Zealand man can be caned on his bare buttocks for overstaying.

David William Peden, 31, was sentenced to 12 months jail after pleading guilty to drug consumption and overstaying. His jail term was back-dated to October 29, the day he was taken into custody.

He was given three months jail and three cuts of the rattan for overstaying, and a year's jail on the drugs charge, to be served concurrently.

Foreign Affairs has yet to decide what stance to take over the caning.

"We are aware of the sentence, we are giving it careful consideration," ministry spokesman James Funnell said.

Ministry reaction would be channelled through the New Zealand High Commission in Singapore in due course.

"That's obviously in relation to the caning," he said.

Caning is a punishment Singapore applies in a number of crimes. The island republic drew international attention in 1994 when American Michael Fay, then 18, received four strokes of a rattan cane on his bare buttocks for spray-painting cars and other offences.

He was originally sentenced to six strokes but that was reduced to four after United States President Bill Clinton criticised the punishment as extreme. Peden told the court he was sorry for what he had done.

His urine tested positive for a morphine-related drug after a Singaporean police drugs raid last month.

He was also found to have been in Singapore without legal permission for about two years. Peden said he had not overstayed looking for work, as charged. He was about to marry a Singaporean woman.

He formerly served with the New Zealand armed forces in Singapore, but had not been with the army for some time. Drug consumption was punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $S20,000 ($NZ20,440). Overstaying was punishable by up to six months in jail and three strokes of the cane. Women and people over 50 are not caned. High Commission consular officer Glenda King said Peden knew caning was mandatory. Peden had asked that they visit him in jail, which they would do after getting permission.

Corpun file 2088

The Press, Christchurch, New Zealand, 22 November 1997

Kiwi will not appeal caning

Jailed New Zealander David Peden, to be rotan caned in Singapore for overstaying, has indicated he will not appeal his sentences.

Peden, 31, was this week sentenced to 12 months jail after pleading guilty to drug consumption and overstaying in Singapore island city. His jail term was back-dated to October 29, the day he was taken into custody.

He was sentenced to three months jail and three cuts of the rotan (cane) to his bare buttocks for overstaying and 12 months jail on the drugs charge, with the terms to be served concurrently.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Peden had indicated to High Commission staff he would not appeal.

Foreign Affairs had asked authorities in Singapore when the caning would take place, and where Peden would be jailed. The caning would not be done until a doctor had declared Peden medically fit.

Consular staff were discussing with prison authorities when they could next see Peden, an ex-serviceman.

blob Follow-up: 12 December 1997 - New Zealand Man Caned in Singapore

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