ITE slashing incident: Teen attacker wins appeal against jail and caning

SINGAPORE - A student who slashed another teenager with a knife on an Institute of Technical Education (ITE) campus last year was given a chance to reform and avoid a jail term and caning.

On Thursday, his appeal against his initial sentence of 18 months' jail and six strokes of the cane was successful. Instead, Muhammad Zuhairie Adely Zulkifli will now undergo reformative training.

In the appeal hearing, Zuhairie's lawyer, Mr Benny Tan, had told the High Court that he had a complicated family background. Both his parents were regularly in and out of jail, and they would also often fight, Lianhe Wanbao reported.

When he was 12, Zuhairie was placed in the care of the Muhammadiyah Welfare Home.

However, the prosecution felt that reformative training was not enough due to the severity of the offence, arguing that Zuhairie had planned the attack and had hid the weapon in his locker.

The incident happened on March 10 last year at the ITE College West campus. Zuhairie slashed Ahmad Nurthaqif Sahed in front of students and teachers, leaving him with several cuts, a broken forearm and two broken fingers.

Their disagreement stemmed from a prior encounter three days earlier at Clarke Quay. Mr Nurthaqif was angered after Zuhairie had called his girlfriend "baby", Lianhe Wanbao reported.

On the day of the incident, when Zuhairie saw Mr Nurthaqif at the campus, he retrieved the 35cm knife from his locker before attacking Mr Nurthaqif, who had been sitting with his girlfriend.

The attack was captured on video and was widely shared on social media.

Following the attack, Zuhairie fled, but was later arrested at his grandmother's house.

Justice Chan Seng Onn, who presided over the appeal, said that Zuhairie should be given a chance to change as he is still young. He also told the teen to learn to manage his emotions better.

Zuhairie replied that he was deeply remorseful and promised that he would turn over a new leaf.