Trio slashed cook after being refused free prata

PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

Three men tried to get free prata after their afternoon drinking session, having demanded free food from the same stall several times before.

But when they were declined this time, they turned aggressive and attacked the stall's cook, slashing the left side of his face with a knife.

Yesterday, Balachandran Kothandapani, 59, pleaded guilty to being part of the trio who attacked the cook, and being in possession of the 19cm blade.

The incident happened on July 29 last year at Block 710 Clementi West Street 2.

Balachandran had been drinking at a pavilion near the coffee shop with Farizal Rahmat, 38, and Murugan Joseph, 46.

Then they went over to the stall Habib's Express at around 5.15pm and ordered prata.

But they were not given the food because they didn't have the money to pay for it .

Infuriated, the trio confronted the assistant, throwing the plates on the floor.

The cook, Mr Revi Jose Vibin, 33, intervened.

The trio became aggressive towards the Indian national as he started to walk around the vicinity of the stall.

Balachandran then went to get a knife which they passed around.

After a short time, Murugan, who was holding the knife, slashed Mr Revi on the left side of his head, causing him to bleed.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Alexandria Shamini Joseph told the court that Murugan had been dealt with and was jailed nine months with six strokes of the cane.

He was later found to be unfit for caning and was sentenced to another four months' jail.

Balachandran, who cannot be caned as he is over 50, is expected to be sentenced on April 4.

For using a weapon to commit assault, he can be jailed up to seven years and fined.

Farizal's case is still pending.

This article was first published in The New Paper. Permission required for reproduction.