SINGAPORE — A secret society member who was involved in a fatal assault outside a club at St James Power Station was jailed for eight-and-a-half years with eight strokes of the cane on Tuesday (14 May).
Muhammad Faizal Md Jamal, 24, was among a group of secret society members who confronted two patrons in March 2017. In the ensuing scuffle, one secret society member stabbed a patron in the forehead and the back, causing his death.
Faizal pleaded guilty to one charge of causing grievous hurt with a deadly weapon. Another count of causing hurt with a deadly weapon was considered in his sentencing.
Argument over liquor bottle
The court heard that at about 4.30am on 12 March 2017, waiter Shawalludin Sa’adon, 28, noticed a liquor bottle on the floor of Postbar at St James Power Station.
He told patrons Satheesh Kumar Manogaran, 34, Naveen Lal Pillar, 29, Suniljit Singh, 34, Parveen Kayr Shimbhir Singh, 23 and Aishini Velu, 16, that the bottle should not be left on the floor.
An argument broke out between Shawalludin, Satheesh and Naveen. Suniljit and two of Shawalludin’s colleagues then separated the men. Shawalludin’s supervisors also told him to step out of Postbar to cool things down.
Outside, Shawalludin called Muhammad Hisham Hassan, 29, and told him to rally members of their 369 subgroup of the Sio Kun Tong secret society group to confront Satheesh and Naveen.
Hisham, Faizal and Muhammad Khalid Kamarudin, 23, met Shawalludin at the entrance of Postbar at about 5.30am. Khalid allegedly brought along a foldable knife.
Shawalludin pointed out Satheesh and Naveen to his gang members. The patrons were on their way home and waiting for a private-hire car.
However, as there were uniformed policemen in the area, Hisham told Khalid and Faizal to be patient and wait for an opportunity to attack. Hisham then separated from the group to make some calls.
Victim stabbed repeatedly
Shortly after, a separate commotion caught the policemen’s attention. At the same time, Satheesh, Naveen and their friends started walking towards a private-hire car.
Shawalludin and his gang members followed the club patrons. Shawalludin called out “Bro, bro” to the group, and started arguing with Satheesh.
Khalid then allegedly punched Satheesh, before stabbing him repeatedly with a foldable knife – once in the forehead, twice in the back of the head and twice on his back. Faizal and Shawalludin punched and kicked Satheesh several times.
Even after Satheesh fell to the ground, Khalid, Faizal and Shawalludin continued to punch and kick him. Khalid, Faizal and Shawalludin then attacked Naveen.
As it was closing time for most of the pubs in the area, a large crowd witnessed the assaults on Satheesh and Naveen.
Satheesh died in hospital shortly after. A forensic pathologist certified his cause of death to be from stab wounds. The wounds extended into the brain and the aorta – the largest artery in the body. The victim’s left lung was completely collapsed and the right lung was deflated.
Accused evaded arrest for 2.5 days
After the attack, Shawalludin washed blood off his hands at a toilet at Postbar before carrying on with his work. Khalid and Faizal fled in a cab and alerted Hisham of the fight. Hisham then left in a separate taxi.
While in the cab, Khalid contacted a friend, Mohd Firdaus Abdullah, 20, and told him that he had stabbed someone and needed shelter. Firdaus told Khalid to go to a flat in Aljunied. Khalid and Faizal stayed at the unit for several hours.
Later that morning, Hisham told Firdaus to bring Khalid and Faizal to a flat in Yishun.
Later, Faizal’s friend Mohammad Idris Zainal Abidin, 34, contacted him. Faizal told Idris about what happened and the latter told Faizal to find him at his girlfriend’s home in Ghim Moh. Faizal took a taxi to the flat and spent the night there.
On 14 March, Faizal and Idris left the unit for Idris’ father’s flat in Bukit Batok. Policemen raided the home later that night. In total, Faizal evaded arrest for about 63 hours after the crime.
Shawalluddin was arrested on the same day of the crime. Hisham, Khalid and Firdaus were arrested at the Yishun flat on 13 March.
Shawalluddin was jailed for five-and-a-half years with six strokes of the cane in November last year for his role in the assault. He pleaded guilty to one charge of causing grievous hurt.
Hisham was sentenced to 18 months’ jail in January last year for harbouring Khalid at the Yishun flat after the incident.
Khalid, who faces a murder charge, has yet to be dealt with. His trial is expected to begin in July.
For causing grievous hurt with a deadly weapon, Faizal could have been jailed for up to 15 years along with a fine and caning.
Under the law, when a crime is committed jointly by several people, each person is liable for it as if it was committed by just that person.
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