Student in lift robbed of phone at knifepoint

Student in lift robbed of phone at knifepoint

SINGAPORE - Lips white from fear, the Secondary 1 student was close to tears when he returned home from school.

The 13-year-old had been robbed of his belongings at knifepoint in the lift at his Jurong West block of flats.

His biggest loss: a grey iPhone 5s that his father had bought him as a reward for his Primary School Leaving Examination results five months earlier.

Roy (not his real name) told The New Paper on Wednesday: "He (the robber) pointed the knife at my stomach and told me to hand over my phone and wallet.

"I thought it was a prank, because Singapore is very safe and I thought such things happen only in TV shows."

It turned out that the robber had also threatened three other students with a knife before robbing them of their mobile phones and other valuables.

According to court papers, Mohamed Faizal Manokhor Ali targeted students as they were easier to rob than adults.

In court on Wednesday, the 35-year-old unemployed man was jailed for 10 years and given 12 strokes of the cane for robbing Roy.

He was also convicted of taking morphine and failing to report for a urine test.

Also taken into consideration were another three charges of robbing three students, aged 12 to 14, and two charges of failing to report for a urine test.

Roy's aunt, Ms Margaret Chua, who saw her nephew arrive home immediately after the robbery on April 11, said he was frightened and traumatised.

"He was shivering in fear and his lips were white," recounted Ms Chua, 50.

"He didn't even eat the omelette he had bought from the 'pasar malam' (night market)...I asked him to call his father, who called the police."

Investigations revealed that Faizal had been loitering at Roy's block in Jurong West Central 1 around 4pm.

When he spotted the boy, he followed him into the lift and waited for the doors to close.

He then pointed a 7cm-long multi-purpose knife at Roy and demanded that he hand over his mobile phone and money.

Roy handed over his phone, wallet, ez-link card, membership cards for a video game arcade and a bookshop, and $5 in coins. The total value of the items amounted to about $1,000.

Faizal sold the mobile phone for $40, which he used to buy drugs.

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