Pub death: 3 sent to reform centre

Source: Straits Times
29 October 2008

Editor’s note: This is a follow-up story to Six young men kill flasher in toilet

Pub death: 3 sent to reform centre
3 others in Orchard Towers brawl will be sentenced Nov 6
By Sujin Thomas

BIRTHDAY party celebrations at an Orchard Towers pub last November turned ugly when six men ended up beating another to death.

After he was assaulted in the early hours of Nov 23, Suhaimi Sulong, 37, was taken unconscious to the Singapore General Hospital.

He died an hour later from head and neck injuries.

Yesterday, three of his attackers – Muhammad Ridhwan Mohd Roslan, 20, Ho Ching Boon, 17, and Lai Chee Kuen, 17 – were sent to the reformative training centre.

There, younger offenders are confined for between 18 months and three years and put through a tough regimen of foot drills, counselling, education and vocational training.

The packed courtroom was filled with teary eyed family members of the three men.

The remaining three in the dock – Muhammad Sufian Zainal, 21, Ahmad Nur Helmy Ahmad Hamdan, 20, and Helmi Abdul Rahim, 28 – will be sentenced on Nov 6.

According to court documents, the six had gone to the Brown Sugar pub on the second floor of Orchard Towers on the evening of Nov 22 to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

A few hours later, Lai and Ho left the pub briefly and were approached by Suhaimi, who asked them if they wanted oral sex. Both men declined.

Later, while Ahmad was combing his hair in a toilet, Suhaimi approached him with the same question. Ahmad responded with a hailstorm of vulgarities in Malay.

A few minutes later, he caught up with Suhaimi and asked if he was a homosexual. He was by then with Muhammad Sufian, Ho and Lai.

When Suhaimi ignored him, Ahmad punched him in the face till he fell onto the floor. Muhammad Sufian restrained Ahmad and helped Suhaimi up onto his feet.

As Suhaimi ran down the staircase, Ahmad again shouted vulgarities at him.

This time, Suhaimi stopped in his tracks and stared at Ahmad.

It would cost him his life.

Ahmad chased him down the staircase with Muhammad Sufian in tow. Meanwhile, Suhaimi had made a run for it, reaching the ground floor before Muhammad Sufian, who had earlier helped him, kicked him in the back.

Suhaimi fell to the ground and was kicked and punched by Ahmad, Muhammad Sufian, Ho and Lai.

Muhammad Ridhwan and Helmi, who were bystanders, also joined in.

The men stopped only when a taxi driver shouted at them. Later, he also called the police. By then, Suhaimi was unconscious.

The six men were subsequently arrested.

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