Duo convicted of Indian worker's murder

SINGAPORE- Two Sarawak men, convicted of a brutal 2010 murder, were part of a gang that went on a robbery spree acting as if they were on a safari, a judge said yesterday.

Micheal Garing, 25, and Tony Imba, 35, were found guilty by High Court judge Choo Han Teck, after a 12-day trial last year, of murdering construction worker Shanmuganathan Dillidurai, 41.

"The attacks took place as if the gang were on a safari, hunting down one prey at a time, using the same method to trap and harm their victims," noted Justice Choo in his judgment yesterday.

He said the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the pair intended to inflict fatal injuries on the Indian national.

The case was adjourned to a later date for the court to hear arguments on whether the pair should receive the death penalty or life imprisonment. The prosecution indicated it would be seeking the death penalty.

The pair and two accomplices had attacked and robbed four men in the Kallang area from late in the night of May 29, 2010 until the early hours of the next day.

Before the fatal assault on Mr Shanmuganathan, they set upon two construction workers from India - Mr Sandeep Singh, 27, and Mr Egan Karuppaiah, 46 - and Singaporean Ang Jun Heng, 22.

These three victims, who were seriously hurt, showed the scars of the assaults when they took the stand.

The dead man had a fractured skull, a severed left hand, a slash wound across his neck and a back wound so deep his shoulder blade was cracked.

One accomplice, Donny Meluda, 23, is at large. The other, Hairee Landak, 22, was sentenced to 33 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for armed robbery with grievous hurt. He testified in the trial.

Micheal and Tony blamed each other for inflicting the fatal injuries. Tony said Micheal was the only one who wielded the parang.

Micheal admitted swinging the parang at the Indian national, but only over his head to scare him. He said that after they left the scene, Tony snatched the parang from him and went back to the victim.

But Justice Choo said all the evidence showed that it was Micheal who struck with the parang. However, Tony was just as culpable as he must have known Micheal was going to slash the fourth victim in a similar way. "Having seen three victims lying in their own blood, it lies ill in his mouth to say at trial that he did not know that Shanmuganathan would be slashed."

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