Man jailed, caned for assaulting stranger near Clarke Quay also ordered to pay $269.65 compensation

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Feb 27, 2023

The second man to be convicted for his role in a group attack on a stranger near Clarke Quay was on Monday sentenced to five years and eight months’ jail and three strokes of the cane.

Taitus Wong Wei Zhi, who turned 21 last Saturday, was also ordered to pay compensation of $269.65 over the assault in which the victim, Mr Justin Chua Yong Jie, had head injuries.

Wong, a recalcitrant drug abuser, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count each of assault and methamphetamine consumption. He was part of a group that attacked Mr Chua in March 2022.

One of the attackers, Dani Zulastri Mohamad Salim, 23, was sentenced to eight months and three weeks’ jail in January.

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 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, Dani and Amirul became friends after they met at a reformative training centre.

Wong, who was released on March 2, 2022, under a supervision order, was supposed to keep out of trouble until Nov 15, 2024.

Before the attack, the three friends 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.

In earlier proceedings, Deputy Public Prosecutor Kathy Chu said that while they were drinking, Amirul showed Dani a knife he had in his possession.

The four intoxicated men left the bar at around 10.30pm, with Wong drinking from the liquor bottle.

The group walked around before ending up near Riverside Point shopping mall in Merchant Road, near Clarke Quay.

The DPP said Mr Chua, 30, 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.

The Straits Times

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