Judge: Attack that left one victim with lifelong condition was 'horrific'

Reuters

The chase and attack lasted a minute. But it left one victim with a fractured skull and a lifelong condition.

Calling the attack "horrific", District Judge Mathew Joseph sentenced Phang Wee Lon, 21, to 3½ years in jail and six strokes of the cane yesterday.

Phang was also convicted of stealing a Bottega Veneta bracelet worth $530 and consuming methamphetamine. Three other charges were taken into consideration.

His jail term was backdated to Nov 13 last year, when he was remanded.

Phang, a permanent resident from Malaysia, was one of five men who attacked the victims at about 3.30am on Oct 22 last year outside Club Flux, a Thai disco at Serangoon Road.

As Mr Shawn Ho, 26, and Mr Wang Jie Feng, 22, were having drinks, a performer chatted with Mr Ho.

Phang was with friends at another table. After one of them pointed aggressively at Mr Ho, he and Mr Wang left the club with Phang's group in pursuit.

They caught up with Mr Ho and Mr Wang, punched and kicked them.

Phang and his friends then returned to Club Flux. The bouncer, who heard them talking about the attack and saw red stains on one of Phang's hands, called the police.

Mr Wang had bruises on his head and arm but did not seek treatment.

Mr Ho was less fortunate, suffering a skull fracture, cranial bleeding and damaged nerve fibres that affected his physical and cognitive abilities. EPILEPSY

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Ee Kuan said in his submission: "He has difficulty expressing himself and will be prescribed medication for post-traumatic epilepsy for the rest of his life."

He asked for a sentence of 3½ to four years and six strokes of the cane.

Phang's lawyer, Mr Lin Chunlong, asked for a maximum of two years' jail as a lengthy term and caning would amount to a "crushing sentence" and might not be the best way to rehabilitate Phang, who is about to start his national service.

"There is a good chance that the rigours of military training would shape his character positively," he said.

But Mr Joseph said: "What the court finds disturbing is that as a result of these brain injuries, (Mr Ho) suffered post-traumatic epilepsy."

He added that Phang was on probation for housebreaking and theft by night in 2010 and had reformative training for snatch theft in 2011.

The judge said: "It seems that the law has got no sting on you. You're quite bold and brazen."


This article was first published on November 19, 2015.
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