The Court of Appeal yesterday upheld the respective sentences handed down to two Sarawakians convicted of a brutal murder in the 2010 Kallang slashings.
Micheal Garing, 28, who had wielded a 58cm-long parang, was given the death penalty, while Tony Imba, 38, was sentenced to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane.
The pair were part of a gang that had gone on a late-night robbery spree in the Kallang area in May 2010, severely injuring three victims and killing a fourth.
Micheal and Tony were handed different sentences based on their roles, after being convicted by the High Court in 2014 for the murder of 41-year-old construction worker Shanmuganathan Dillidurai.
The prosecution had appealed against Tony's sentence of life imprisonment and caning, arguing that he should also be sentenced to death. Micheal appealed against his conviction and sentence.
Yesterday, a three-judge appeal court - comprising Judges of Appeal Chao Hick Tin, Andrew Phang and Judith Prakash - dismissed both appeals.
The court accepted that Micheal had used the parang to attack Mr Shanmuganathan, an Indian national.
The "sheer brutality" of his attack warrants the death penalty as he had shown a blatant disregard for human life, said the court.
"It seems to us that (Micheal) attacked the deceased in a totally savage and merciless manner, as though he were attacking a hunted prey," said Justice Chao, delivering the court's decision.
In his "vicious, savage and sustained onslaught", Micheal had struck the top of the victim's head with such force that his skull cracked. He had also slit the victim's throat, the judge noted.
Turning to Tony, the court found that he had the common intention to inflict fatal injuries on the victim.
While there was no preconceived plan to kill Mr Shanmuganathan, Tony knew that Micheal would likely do so, as he had seen how his accomplice had used the parang indiscriminately on the earlier three victims, said Justice Chao.
However, the court was not satisfied that Tony had held Mr Shanmuganathan long enough for Micheal to inflict the fatal injuries.
The verdict was originally scheduled to be delivered last month but the court agreed to a deferment on the request of defence lawyers acting for the pair.
Mr Ramesh Tiwary and Mr Amarick Gill had wanted to interview Donny Meluda, the final suspect, who was recently arrested in Malaysia and handed to Singapore police on Jan 18.
Now going by the name of Abdul Rahman Abdullah, he has been remanded in custody after being charged with murder.
However, Mr Tiwary told the court that Donny, 25, has indicated through the police that he did not wish to be interviewed.
A fourth member of the gang, Hairee Landak, 23, was sentenced in 2013 to 33 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for armed robbery with grievous hurt.
This article was first published on Feb 28, 2017.
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