Probation for teen who joined friends in 'thuggish attack'

Probation for teen who joined friends in 'thuggish attack'

A teenager who had just received disappointing O-level results acted with "unusual anger" and joined his friends in a "thuggish and brazen" attack on a fellow bus passenger, a court heard.

Gordon Chiw Xu Zhuo, 17, and a group of fellow students took turns in punching Mr Nelsis Ong Wei Hua, 18, after a row and left him with injuries, including a bloodied nose and cut lip.

Yesterday, he was sentenced to 15 months of probation, after pleading guilty to being part of an unlawful assembly and an unrelated charge of criminal trespass.

He was also ordered to perform 130 hours of community service; his parents must sign a $5,000 bond to ensure his good behaviour.

Three other youths involved in the incident - Leow Fa Dong, 20, Kek Wei Jie, 19 and Ee Kok Soon, 18 - received the same probation term earlier this year. The case against a fourth, Chai Zeping, 17, is pending.

The students had been alighting from a bus in front of Far East Plaza on Scotts Road on the evening of Jan 13 this year, when Leow deliberately bumped his shoulder into Mr Ong on his way to the exit.

Mr Ong pushed back in response and Kek, Chai and Chiw, who were about to get off the bus, saw the pushing and a shouting match ensued.

They returned to the rear of the bus and, together with Leow, took turns to punch their victim in the head and body. Ee also kneed Mr Ong in the face when he fell forward during the assault.

A sixth member of the group, Mr Marshall Low Jun Ming, 19, had already alighted. He got back on the bus, separated his friends from their victim and stopped the attack.

Asking the court to call for a report on Chiw's suitability for reformative training, Deputy Public Prosecutor Mansoor Amir said the attack was "thuggish and brazen" and took place on a public bus.

He pointed out that the victim had been cornered and added that Chiw had already gone past Mr Ong, but returned to join in the attack.

Calling for a probation term for his client, Chiw's lawyer, Mr Josephus Tan, said that he had acted with "unusual anger" as his O-level results, released earlier that day, had been below expectations.

Chiw has no previous convictions. For being part of an unlawful assembly to voluntarily cause hurt, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined.

This article was first published on June 1, 2014.
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