Man gets three years' jail, six strokes for rioting

Man gets three years' jail, six strokes for rioting

A 21-year-old man was part of a group that punched and kicked two men outside a club last October, leaving one with a serious head injury.

For rioting, Ahmad Ridhwan Wee Ahmad Jafni was sentenced to three years' jail and six strokes of the cane yesterday.

District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan said the group had behaved like "a pack of hyenas", and that he was more concerned about Ridhwan, who has a prior stint in the Reformative Training Centre (RTC).

Ridhwan and four others were part of an unlawful assembly when some of them attacked Mr Shawn Ho Yong Han, 25, and Mr Wang Jie Feng, 21, along Serangoon Road on Oct 22 last year.

The victims and Ridhwan's group had been drinking at Club Flux in Serangoon Road on the night of Oct 21.

At about 3.20am, when Mr Ho and Mr Wang were about to leave, a performing artist went over to their table to talk to Mr Ho. Mr Wang then saw a patron who was allegedly sitting with Ridhwan's group pointing his finger aggressively at Mr Ho.

Sensing trouble, the pair decided to leave and started walking along Serangoon Road, hoping to catch a taxi.

Ridhwan and his accomplices followed them. After they caught up with the victims, they punched and kicked them for about two minutes.

Mr Ho was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital with cuts and head injuries. He was discharged two days later against medical advice.

A subsequent brain scan at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital showed post-traumatic aphasia and bleeding in his brain. Mr Ho was initially unable to speak, but has partially recovered.

He also suffered from post-traumatic epilepsy as a result of the head injury and will need to take anti-convulsant medication for the rest of his life. Mr Wang suffered minor injuries and did not see a doctor.

During sentencing, Judge Shaiffudin also expressed his concern over the escalating violence shown by young people.

Police statistics showed that 322 youth were arrested for rioting last year, up from 283 in 2013 and 239 in 2012.

The judge had some parting words for Ridhwan as well. "You have a lot of time to reflect in prison. I hope what you have said - you promise you will change - is genuine," he said.

Ridhwan has a previous conviction for loan shark harassment in 2011, and was released from RTC in October 2013.

One of the four co-accused, Adam Koh Yong Sheng, 20, has been sentenced to reformative training. The case against the rest is pending.

Ridhwan, whose sentence was backdated to Oct 30 last year, could have been jailed for up to seven years and caned.

This article was first published on March 26, 2015.
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