Man found guilty of murdering waitress over handphone repair dispute

Amir Hussain
Senior Reporter
Syed Maffi Hasan, 28, faces the death penalty or life in prison with caning. He will be sentenced at a later date. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — A 28-year-old man was found guilty in the High Court of murdering a 23-year-old waitress on Tuesday (21 May) over a dispute involving handphone repair costs.

Syed Maffi Hasan had dragged a semi-conscious Atika Dolkifli by her armpits down some stairs before lifting her body and throwing her over the railing of a parapet at a multi-storey car park in Toa Payoh in August 2015.

Her body was found by a passer-by three days later.

Syed Maffi will be sentenced at a later date. He faces the death penalty, or life in prison with caning.

Met via Facebook

Syed Maffi first met Atika in 2013 over Facebook but lost contact shortly after when he was admitted to the Drug Rehabilitation Centre. The pair resumed contact after he was released in April 2015.

Atika was found to have a below average intelligence when she was 12 years old, according to her parents.

As Syed Maffi did not have a handphone, Atika lent him a spare green iPhone 5C. But it became faulty and he sent it for repairs twice, with the bill coming up to about $125.

But Syed Maffi lied to Atika that the repairs cost $300 as he was in need of cash. He also went to her work place multiple times to look for her.

On 20 August 2015, he went to her home but met her father instead. Syed Maffi told Atika’s father that she owed him $300 for phone repairs, but the latter told Syed Maffi to settle the matter with her.

Later that day, Atika’s older brother told Syed Maffi to keep the phone and not to contact Atika again. Syed Maffi agreed.

Threw victim over parapet railing

On 31 August 2015, however, Syed Maffi went back on his word. He arranged to meet Atika after her shift for the day ended at Pizza Hut.

At about 9.45pm, the pair went to the multi-storey car park at Blk 146A Toa Payoh Lorong 2.

At the roof garden on the top deck of the car park they quarrelled over the repair costs of the phone that Syed Maffi was demanding from Atika.

He pushed her chest and she fell backwards off the edge of a flight of stairs, hitting the back of her head on the steps.

Syed Maffi then dragged Atika by her armpits down the remaining steps to Deck 5A of the car park. He noticed her semi-conscious and groaning.

Undaunted, Syed Maffi used his left hand to grab the back of Atika’s collar and right hand to grab her trousers near her buttocks. He lifted her and threw her over the railing of the parapet.

Atika landed head-first on the landing at Deck 3A with a loud thud. Syed Maffi saw that she was not moving.

Concealed handbag in drain

Syed Maffi then picked up Atika’s belongings and walked back up the stairs to the roof garden. He threw the items such as her keys and right shoe into a drain near the stairs.

He left the car park at about 10.30pm with her handbag but decided to conceal it in a covered drain near a bus stop. He removed her handphone from the handbag before hiding it and heading home.

Atika’s father made a missing person report at about 11.30pm the next day.

On 2 September 2015, Atika’s brother met Syed Maffi, but he claimed that she had walked to the car park by herself and never returned. Syed Maffi said that he left after waiting for her for a while.

On 3 September, at about 8.10am, a passer-by who had parked his car at the car park saw Atika’s decomposed body and called the police.

A forensic pathologist found her death to be consistent with head injury.

CCTV recordings from the car park showed Syed Maffi and Atika entering the car park together and him leaving alone carrying her handbag.

He confessed to his crime in several police statements on 3 and 4 September.

A government psychiatrist found that Syed Maffi did not suffer from any psychiatric disorder or illness and was not of unsound mind at the time of the crime.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

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