Man gets jail, caning for multiple offences, including possession of harpoon used in Ming Arcade stabbing

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
July 11, 2023

A recalcitrant offender who handed his alleged accomplice a harpoon that was later used to stab a man in June 2022 was sentenced to a jail term of 17 months, 19 weeks and three days on Tuesday.

S. Mageshwaran, 29, who was also ordered to receive 12 strokes of the cane, committed some of his other offences while he was under a remission order from Sept 3, 2020, to Oct 1, 2021, during which period he was supposed to stay out of trouble.

As a result, he has to spend an additional five days behind bars.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to multiple crimes, including harassment, being in possession of the harpoon, and traffic offences.

For driving in a careless manner, he was disqualified from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licences for four months from his date of release.

The prosecution said he was out on bail when he handed the harpoon to Sheran Raj Balasubramaniam, 23, who stabbed the victim.

The Straits Times reported in June 2022 that the assault victim, then 23, was found to be bleeding profusely, with the 20cm-long weapon stuck in his back, following the attack.

He was conscious when taken to hospital.

In earlier proceedings, Deputy Public Prosecutor Melissa Heng said Mageshwaran was convicted of being in possession of a dangerous weapon in 2019.

He was later sentenced to three years and three months’ jail and was released in 2020.

He was under a remission order when he reoffended on Nov 30, 2020. Mageshwaran had used vulgar language against a 33-year-old policeman in Dunlop Street in Little India while drunk. He was then arrested and released on bail.

On June 3, 2022, Sheran Raj asked Mageshwaran if he wanted to go to Candy Bar at Ming Arcade shopping centre in Cuscaden Road.

When Mageshwaran agreed to go, the younger man asked him to take a weapon with him, as fights occasionally broke out at the bar.

Mageshwaran had a harpoon in his possession when Sheran Raj picked him up in a taxi at around 11.30pm that day. Along the way, Mageshwaran handed the weapon to Sheran Raj, who put it into the left pocket of his shorts.

According to court documents, Sheran Raj later used it to stab the victim at about 4.30am outside Candy Bar. DPP Heng did not disclose the reason behind the attack.

Meanwhile, Mageshwaran got into a dispute with a 22-year-old man in Cuscaden Road, and they shouted at each other.

The younger man’s friends intervened, and his group – made up of six other people – later went to Labrador Park to continue drinking alcohol. The 22-year-old told Mageshwaran that he and his group would be going to the park.

Still unhappy, Mageshwaran retrieved a machete from his mother’s flat before making his way to the park.

At about 8.45am, he charged towards the seven men while waving the machete, and they ran away.

The police were alerted and officers arrested Mageshwaran soon after.

In an unrelated case, he also committed traffic offences, including driving a car without a licence and careless driving in Yishun, in September 2021.

At around 7am on April 10, 2022, his former girlfriend called the police after she was woken up by the sound of somebody shouting outside her flat.

A 23-year-old police officer and his partner arrived at the scene and saw Mageshwaran lying unconscious outside a flat. When he regained consciousness, he hurled vulgarities at the officers.

He was arrested and was in a police vehicle heading towards Woodlands Police Division when he spat on the policeman’s left arm. He also shouted obscenities at the officer.

Defence lawyer N. Divanan said Mageshwaran has major depressive disorder, and his failure to exercise consequential thinking during the traffic offences was due to his relationship issues.

The lawyer added that his client also had no knowledge that Sheran Raj would use the harpoon to attack the 23-year-old man in Cuscaden Road.

Sheran Raj’s case is still pending.

The Straits Times

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