Cellphone robber gets 3 years' jail, 12 strokes

Mohammed Hanafiah Jumahat (left) joined Mohamad Hafiz Juma'at to help their uncle, Sani Chabar, steal a phone.
Mohammed Hanafiah Jumahat (above) joined Mohamad Hafiz Juma'at to help their uncle, Sani Chabar, steal a phone.

He is last of trio to be sentenced for beating up victim to snatch mobile phone in Jurong

All because he wanted a mobile phone, a man walked around a Jurong neighbourhood with his two nephews until they saw a stranger with the device.

The trio then robbed the man of his mobile phone.

Sani Chabar, 49, committed the offence with his nephews, Mohammed Hanafiah Jumahat, 29, and Mohamad Hafiz Juma'at, 37, on Dec 28 last year.

Hanafiah was sentenced to three years' jail with the minimum 12 strokes of the cane yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of robbery.

One count of being in possession of an offensive instrument - a knuckleduster - was taken into consideration during sentencing.

He was the last of the trio to be dealt with in court.

On Dec 28 last year, Sani went to Hafiz's home and while he was there, he kept on grumbling that he wanted to have a mobile phone.

They then went to Hanafiah's flat in Jurong, where Hafiz suggested that they steal one for Sani.

The other two agreed to his suggestion and they walked around the neighbourhood to look for a potential victim.

At around 10.50pm, the trio spotted Mr Muthu Suresh, 33, an Indian national who was using his Asus Zenfone 2 mobile phone at a fitness corner near Block 324, Tah Ching Road, in Taman Jurong and decided to rob him.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Charleston Teo said Sani stood a short distance away while his nephews approached Mr Muthu from behind.

He added: "Hafiz slapped the victim on the left side of his head from the back. Hafiz and (Hanafiah) then went in front of the victim.

"(Hanafiah) placed a foot on the victim's right shoulder such that the victim could not stand up. Hafiz then punched the victim in the face, which caused (his) nose to start bleeding immediately."

Hanafiah then kicked Mr Muthu on the right shoulder three times and Hafiz ordered him to hand over his mobile phone.

Mr Muthu complied out of fear and the trio fled after that.

He went to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital about 21/2 hours later and was found to have a fractured nasal bone. He also had bruises on his jaw and right shoulder.

Mr Muthu was given six days of medical leave.

Hanafiah is now out on bail as the court gave him leave to take his mother for medical check-ups. He will surrender to the court on July 21. For committing robbery, he could have been jailed up to 14 years and caned.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2017, with the headline 'Cellphone robber gets 3 years' jail, 12 strokes'. Print Edition | Subscribe