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The Straits Times
Feb 1, 2023
A second man has admitted to his role in a group attack on a stranger near Clarke Quay. He was involved in the attack 18 days after he was released from a centre on a supervision order.
Recalcitrant drug abuser Taitus Wong Wei Zhi was sent to a drug rehabilitation centre in 2018 for consuming methamphetamine.
Two years later, he was ordered to undergo reformative training after abusing the same drug. Offenders given reformative training are detained in a centre to follow a strict regimen that can include foot drills and counselling.
Wong, who was released on March 2, 2022, under a supervision order, was supposed to keep himself out of trouble until Nov 15, 2024.
Despite this, he ganged up with his friends to attack Mr Justin Chua Yong Jie, 30, near Clarke Quay on March 20, 2022, and used a liquor bottle to repeatedly strike the victim’s head.
Wong, 20, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count each of assault and methamphetamine consumption.
He was one of three people who had ganged up against Mr Chua during the attack.
One of them, Dani Zulastri Mohamad Salim, 23, was sentenced to eight months and three weeks’ jail on Tuesday.
The case involving the third man, Mohamad Amirul Shafi Abdullah, 23, is pending.
A fourth man, Mr Noor Shah Ryzqa Azman, 20, who was earlier accused of being part of the attack, was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal in August 2022.
Those given such a discharge can still be prosecuted for the same crime if relevant information or evidence emerges later.
Wong, Dani and Amirul became friends after they met in a reformative training centre.
Before the attack, the trio met Mr Ryzqa at a Circular Road bar near Boat Quay at about 7pm on March 20, 2022, and ordered a bottle of liquor to share.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kathy Chu said that while they were drinking, Amirul showed Dani that he had a knife in his possession.
The four intoxicated men left the bar at around 10.30pm, with Wong holding the liquor bottle and drinking from it.
The group walked around before ending up near Riverside Point shopping mall in Merchant Road, near Clarke Quay.
The DPP said Mr Chua was walking to a convenience store in the vicinity at around 10.45pm when Wong and Amirul attacked him from behind.
She added: “Amirul felt that the victim had stared at him. (Wong) used the glass bottle to hit the victim’s head a few times before dropping it on the ground, causing it to smash. A patch of the victim’s hair fell off. The victim fell to the ground.
“(Wong) and Amirul punched the victim. Dani heard the commotion and ran towards them to join in. Amirul and Dani punched and kicked the victim. Ryzqa watched them from a distance.”
Wong and his three friends then fled the scene. The police were alerted to the incident at around 11pm, and Mr Chua was taken to the Singapore General Hospital.
The police arrested Wong on March 29, 2022, and his urine sample was found to contain traces of methamphetamine.
District Judge Carol Ling has called for a report to assess Wong’s suitability for reformative training. The case has been adjourned to Feb 28.