18 months' jail for man who harboured alleged murderer in Yishun flat

Muhammad Hisham Hassan (right) harboured Muhammad Khalid Kamarudin (left), whom he knew had murdered Mr Satheesh Kumar Manogaran near St James Power Station on March 12, 2017.
Muhammad Hisham Hassan (right) harboured Muhammad Khalid Kamarudin (left), whom he knew had murdered Mr Satheesh Kumar Manogaran near St James Power Station on March 12, 2017.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A former restaurant assistant manager harboured an alleged murderer at his godmother's flat after a fatal attack.

On Tuesday (Jan 2), Muhammad Hisham Hassan, 28, was sentenced to 18 months' jail for harbouring Muhammad Khalid Kamarudin.

Khalid was then a 22-year-old part-time mover who Hisham knew had murdered Mr Satheesh Kumar Manogaran, 35, near St James Power Station on March 12, 2017, according to court documents.

Hisham, Khalid, waiter Shawalludin Sa'adon, 27, Muhammad Faizal Md Jamal, 23, and Mohd Firdaus Abdullah, 20, were all members of a secret society operating from Toa Payoh Central.

The court heard that earlier on March 12, Mr Satheesh was having drinks at Postbar with a group. Shawalludin, who was working at Postbar, claimed that Mr Satheesh tried to punch him.

Mr Satheesh's friend pulled him back while Shawalludin was told by his superiors to step out of the premises to prevent further misunderstanding.

Aggrieved, Shawalludin messaged and called Hisham to rally members of their gang as "backup" in a fight. Hisham agreed and headed to Postbar, at Sentosa Gateway.

Along the way, he messaged all the members of the secret society, informing them that Shawalludin was seeking a fight at St James Power Station.

Khalid, who had a knife, asked Faizal to accompany him.

When the group arrived at Postbar, Shawalludin pointed out Mr Satheesh and his cousin, Mr Naveen Lal Pillar, 29, saying he was not satisfied. The group agreed to hurt the two men.

The court heard that Hisham walked away to call his girlfriend when Shawalludin, Khalid and Faizal confronted Mr Satheesh and his cousin as they were about to board a private-hire car. They stabbed, kicked and punched the pair.

 
 

When Hisham returned and saw Mr Satheesh lying on the ground and Mr Naveen stumbling and covered in blood, he immediately messaged Shawalludin to "run far far", saying that Mr Satheesh had died.

At about 10am, Hisham told Firdaus to take Khalid and Faizal to his godmother's flat in Yishun so that he could harbour them.

Later, all three turned up with their girlfriends. Khalid told Hisham he had stabbed two people and had wounded himself. Faizal stayed for an hour or two before leaving.

At about 8pm the next day, police raided the flat and arrested Hisham, Khalid and Firdaus. The court heard that Hisham harboured Khalid by providing him with shelter for 31 hours, allowing him to evade arrest.

District Judge Marvin Bay told Hisham his act of sheltering a known figure for an extended period of more than 24 hours, under circumstances in which murder had been committed, was a "very grave offence'', as this was calculated to thwart, and potentially pervert, the course of justice.

A second charge of conspiracy by abetment to cause hurt to Mr Satheesh and Mr Naveen was considered during sentencing.

Hisham could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined for the harbouring charge. The cases against the others are pending.