A seaman who picked up a log and used it to beat to death a ship engineer, who had attacked him first with a martial arts weapon, was jailed for 31/2 years yesterday.
Nay Aung, 26, slammed the 2kg chunk of wood into the face and body of 51-year-old Ko Ko Maung.
The latter had earlier been involved in a row with Aung's brother on two supply ships which had berthed alongside each other along the Jurong River.
Mr Maung died on the spot of fractures and internal injuries.
Aung pleaded guilty to culpable homicide.
The High Court heard that the two men, from Myanmar, bumped into each other in Penjuru Lane when Aung went to buy cold drinks on May 29, 2013.
A row erupted over the earlier incident and Mr Maung reached into his bag to pull out a nunchaku - a martial arts weapon consisting of two sticks linked by a rope.
Aung was struck by the weapon but retaliated by punching Mr Maung.
The nunchaku broke in the scuffle, which was later ended by some Indonesian seamen.
However, as Aung returned to his vessel, Mr Maung rushed towards him wielding a 27cm stick that had broken off his weapon.
Aung picked up the 110cm log and swung it hard at Mr Maung, who dropped the stick.
Aung chased after him and continued hitting him with the log.
Mr Maung was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Aung went back to his vessel but was later asked to return to shore by police. He had suffered minor injuries to his shoulder and a finger.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Daphne Lim yesterday asked for Aung to be jailed for four years.
"Even taking into account the deceased's initial conduct, the violence that was subsequently displayed by the accused... was wholly disproportionate," she said.
Ms Lim argued that while Mr Maung appeared to be the aggressor at first, Aung continued to hit him with a bigger and deadlier weapon even after the older man was disarmed.
Aung's lawyer, Mr Mervyn Cheong, said his client had struck Mr Maung on impulse, adding: "Unfortunately, Nay Aung got too caught up in the heat of the moment."
This article was first published on May 5, 2015.
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