Ex-gang member who repeatedly hit man with metal chair, stomped on his face in fatal attack gets jail

Thennarasu Karupiah, 50, was sentenced to 15 years and five months in jail yesterday (Oct 1) after he pleaded guilty at the High Court to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

On July 13, 2016, he had assaulted Arokiasamy Paul Rajoo at a club by raining blows on the man's body and head, even as onlookers tried to stop him.

The assault victim had fallen to the ground and gestured for Thennarasu to stop, before being hit repeatedly with a metal chair.

The victim then slumped on the ground and Thennarasu stomped on his face thrice before leaving the club.

According to The Straits Times, Arokiasamy was later sent to the Singapore General Hospital, where he was operated on to remove the blood clots in his skull that had accumulated because of the assault.

He was also found to have skull fractures and bruising of the brain.

Arokiasamy succumbed to his injuries and died on July 16, 2016.

Thennarasu and Arokiasamy had known each other since the 1980s and were both part of secret society gangs. 

Both were at the Taj Mahal Bollywood Music Lounge in the early morning of the assault and when Thennarasu went to the club's balcony to smoke, Arokiasamy followed him there, said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Dwayne Lum.

The men argued over Thennarasu and their old gang not helping Arokiasamy out when he was robbed the previous week.

Thennarasu claimed he did not know that the robbery had occurred. 

Arokiasamy then questioned Thennarasu's parentage and said something to the effect of "your mother did not give birth to you by one father" and Thennarasu threw the first punch.

In mitigation, Thennarasu's defence counsel Thangavelu called for Thennarasu to be given eight to 10 years' jail.

"He did not spoil for a fight, there was no animosity, no reason for him to assault... except for that split second... when the victim uttered vulgarities and insulted his mother," said Mr Thangavelu.

However, Justice Hoo Sheau Peng deemed the acts violent and brutal, and said there were plenty of opportunities for Thennarasu to disengage.

For culpable homicide, Thennarasu could have been jailed up to 20 years and fined or caned.

Read the full story at The Straits Times

The Straits Times

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