2-year crime spree: He rioted, took drugs, threatened family, and stabbed man with katana

2-year crime spree: He rioted, took drugs, threatened family, and stabbed man with katana
PHOTO: The New Paper

In just two years, he committed 14 offences, most of them violent.

To make it worse, most were committed while he was out on bail after being arrested twice.

About 1½ years after he was arrested and released on bail for assaulting several patrons outside a club in 2013, Koh Ah Chwee threatened to kill his wife, daughter and niece while under the influence of drugs.

He was nabbed again and granted bail, but returned to his criminal ways in November last year when he armed himself with a katana - a Japanese sword - and went to a nightspot where he threatened a person and stabbed another.

Yesterday, Koh, 51, was finally put behind bars after a district court jailed him for 45 months.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of rioting, one count of possessing a weapon without authority, two drug-related charges and three counts of criminal intimidation.

Six other charges were taken into consideration.

He claimed trial against one charge of voluntarily causing grievous hurt by stabbing someone with a katana.

1 The brawl

Court papers said Koh's series of offences began on Oct 14, 2013, after a night of drinking with his friends - Chia Song Hwee, 47, Chin Choon Yew, 37, and Yeo Teen Chiet, 40 - at Club Gossip at St James Power Station.

At about 5am, Chia thought one patron was someone who had assaulted his friend a few days earlier.

Chia went to his car, took out a baton, approached the patron and hit him on the head.

Chin and Yeo, with two unknown men, then rushed forward to assault the patron.

Koh eventually joined in and stabbed the patron's back with a fishbone amulet, which became lodged in his back.

Two of the patron's friends tried to help, only for Koh and his friends to attack them as well.

One friend was slashed from his palm to his forearm. Another was stabbed in the back with an unknown object.

Koh and his friends fled separately after the assault, which was captured by cameras outside the club.

Chin and Yeo have since been sentenced to jail, while Chia remains at large.

Koh was arrested on March 9, 2014, and released on bail.

2 The stun device

On June 9 last year, while out on bail, Koh returned to his McNair Road home and began interrogating his wife, whom he suspected of having an affair.

Worried that Koh would hit her, she tried to leave the room. But he pushed her, causing her to fall, and pulled her hair.

Her screams drew the attention of his 16-year-old daughter and 21-year-old niece, who knocked on Koh's bedroom door.

Koh opened the door and asked why they were banging on his door.

His daughter stopped him from closing the door and rushed into the bedroom with her cousin.

Koh then said if the three of them wanted to be together, they could die together.

He continued interrogating his wife, but his daughter tried to reason with him.

Frustrated, he said in Mandarin: "Three of you can die together, then I'll kill myself."

He took out a torchlight with a stun device from a cupboard and pointed it at the women and repeated his threat.

His daughter tried to wrest the device with her stepmother and cousin's help.

During the struggle, Koh's stomach was injured by the device, which was eventually taken from him.

He then picked up a statue, smashed it to the ground, and waved a broom at his family members.

The women fled the flat and called the police, who went to the unit with riot shields.

Koh was arrested and later admitted that had also threatened his wife with a hammer eight days earlier while accusing her of having an affair.

His urine was also tested and found to have traces of methamphetamine, commonly known as Ice.

Koh admitted to the authorities he had consumed Ice a day earlier.

He was released on bail a month later.

3 The katana

Koh had a Vietnamese girlfriend who was working as a performing artist at a club in Jalan Besar.

She complained to him that she was allegedly mistreated by some customers, only for her manager to dismiss her concerns.

Koh went to the club with a box containing a 57cm-long katana, which had a 35cm blade, on Nov 28.

A staff member spotted Koh with the box and informed club manager Chiar Kok Soon, 36, as well as the manager of the head office that owned the pub, Mr Chee Mun Leong, 48.

Mr Chee went up to Koh, asked him what was bothering him and even bought him dinner to appease him.

After Koh was done eating, he opened the box, took out the sword and tied it to his hand using a piece of nylon string.

He then told Mr Chee in Hokkien: "Go away, if not I will slash you."

A frightened Mr Chee ran to warn Mr Chiar, but Koh got to him first.

Koh stabbed him in the stomach and slashed his left forearm and thumb.

Koh also charged at a female staff member, who was on the phone with the police outside the club. He then got into his car with the sword and drove to Race Course Road to drink.

Koh was eventually arrested for the third time on Dec 1.

4 The sentence

Yesterday, defence counsel Choo Si Sen said in mitigation that Koh's wife had forgiven him.

Mr Choo added that his client was under the influence of drugs when he threatened his family.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Yanying argued that self-intoxication should be considered an aggravating factor.

District Judge Salina Ishak noted in her sentencing remarks that Koh committed 14 serious offences in two years, with 13 committed within just six months.

The judge also noted he had criminally intimidated more than one person, particularly his family members, whom he should have been protecting instead, she said.

Koh's wife and other family members were in court yesterday.

The New Paper spoke to his wife after the hearing and she confirmed she had forgiven him.

She also said she is trying to forget what happened and move on.

A pre-trial conference for the remaining charge against Koh has been scheduled for March 28.

rloh@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on March 18, 2016.
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