Fatal assault: Youth brutally bashed unconscious teen

Liew, convicted of causing grievous hurt, robbery with hurt, and drug consumption, will be sentenced on April 29. The prosecution called for nine years' jail with 24 strokes of the cane.
Liew, convicted of causing grievous hurt, robbery with hurt, and drug consumption, will be sentenced on April 29. The prosecution called for nine years' jail with 24 strokes of the cane.PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF JERON LIEW

19-year-old convicted of causing grievous hurt; victim declined his challenge to fight

An 18-year-old brutally assaulted another youth as he lay unconscious on the ground, after the latter declined to take up a challenge to fight, a court heard yesterday.

The victim, also 18, had a broken skull and bleeding in his brain. He died in hospital five days later.

Yesterday, Jeron Liew Wei Jie, now 19, was convicted of three charges - causing grievous hurt, robbery with hurt, and drug consumption - after he pleaded guilty.

Two counts of having a knife in public and two charges of having cigarettes as a minor will be considered in sentencing on April 29.

On May 23 last year, the victim, Mr Kelvin Gan Teck Xiang, checked into a hotel for a friend's 18th birthday the next day. Just after midnight, Mr Gan and his friends went to Club Casanovi at Parklane Mall in Selegie Road.

At about 2am, the victim and his friends bumped into Liew, who was on his way to get supper opposite the mall. Liew went up to the group as he knew one of Mr Gan's friends.

Liew found the victim "acting proud and showing a bad attitude", Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Shi said. Liew also thought Mr Gan was boasting about belonging to a gang, and challenged him to a fight, but the victim declined to do so.

Mr Gan made a phone call as he crossed the road. Suspecting he was calling for "backup", Liew pulled Mr Gan by his collar into an alley. Liew raised his fists and again challenged him to a fight, to no avail.

At about 2.45am, Liew punched Mr Gan's face twice and he fell backwards, hitting his head on the ground. Liew yanked his collar and called out to him, but he was unconscious. Liew again challenged Mr Gan to hit him and slapped his face twice. Liew then forcefully hurled Mr Gan's head down to hit the kerb and kicked his face twice, before Mr Gan's friends pulled Liew away.

Mr Gan was carried into a taxi and back to the hotel by his friends. At some point, he regained consciousness and said he was in pain, but lapsed back into what his friends thought was sleep. They called for an ambulance at about 9am, when they realised he was unresponsive.

Separately on Jan 16 last year, Liew, along with two friends, robbed lorry driver Balasubramaniam Sureshkumar, 29, of two cellphones worth $370 in total.The next month, Liew was caught for drug use. He admitted he had been taking methamphetamine since late 2013.

DPP Shi called for nine years' jail with 24 strokes of the cane, while Liew's lawyer Kalidass Murugaiyan asked for five to six years' jail.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2016, with the headline 'Fatal assault: Youth brutally bashed unconscious teen'. Print Edition | Subscribe