Source: ‘Today’ newspaper
7 November 2008
Greater role, so trio get jail
Trio in the dock had each either punched or kicked victim on the head
By Teo Xuanwei
ALL six friends were involved in the brawl outside an Orchard Towers pub last November, but a district judge ruled yesterday that three of them had played greater roles in the fatal assault.
For that, a district judge sentenced Mr Muhammad Sufian Zainal, 21, and Mr Helmi Abdul Rahim, 20, each to four years’ jail and six strokes of the cane. Mr Ahmad Nur Helmy Ahmad Hamdan, 20, was given four-and-a-half years in jail and eight strokes of the cane.
The fracas that took place in the wee hours of Nov 23 was sparked off after the victim, Mr Suhaimi Sulong, 37, approached a few of the youths – all gang members – outside Brown Sugar pub and made lewd comments and offered sexual services, court documents said. Enraged, some confronted Mr Suhaimi.
Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Samuel Chua told the court that Mr Ahmad Nur Helmy was most culpable as he had thrown the first punch that led to his peers raining blows on Mr Suhaimi.
Mr Suhaimi died an hour after the beating and the trio in the dock had each either punched or kicked him on the head.
Mr Ahmad Nur Helmy’s lawyer argued that it was “virtually impossible to describe the actual role of each of the offenders, the nature and the extent of their involvement” in a group attack.
He appealed for his client to be imposed with the same punishment as his accomplices got last week – Mr Muhammad Ridhwan Mohd Roslan, 20, Lai Chee Kuen, 17, and Mr Ho Ching Boon, 18, were sent to the reformative training centre.
But DPP Chua said that it was because those three youths had played lesser roles in the “heinous offence”. Reformative training for the three men sentenced yesterday was inadequate because “the principle of deterrence should feature more strongly than the principle of rehabilitation”, given their roles in the incident.
For voluntarily causing grievous hurt, each of the trio could have been jailed up to seven years, in addition to a fine or caning.