Drug offender whose attack led to fellow prisoner losing his eye gets 4½ years' jail, 7 strokes

Muhammad Noh Faizal Sa'at, now 27, will have to spend an additional 4½ years behind bars for the unprovoked attack.
Muhammad Noh Faizal Sa'at, now 27, will have to spend an additional 4½ years behind bars for the unprovoked attack. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A drug offender will have to spend an additional 4½ years behind bars and receive seven more strokes of the cane after he assaulted a fellow inmate viciously in an unprovoked attack, punching him and stomping on his head, and causing the latter to lose his right eye.

Muhammad Noh Faizal Sa'at, now 27, had earlier been sentenced to eight years' jail with 10 strokes of the cane on Dec 12, 2012 for drug-related offences.

He pleaded guilty on Thursday (Aug 17) to causing grievous hurt to Osman Kassim, 51.

He will serve his sentence for the assault after completing his earlier jail term.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Shi said in court: "According to the accused, he attacked the victim because he was angry at the victim for reading his letter in the past, which the victim denies."

Noh was walking down a staircase at Changi Prison Complex Cluster A at around 1.20pm on June 21 last year (2016) when he spotted Osman.

The older man had been assigned as a housing unit orderly and was issuing laundry to the inmates' cells, the court heard. Noh approached Osman from behind and tapped him on the shoulder.

DPP Shi said: "When the victim turned towards the accused, the accused immediately used his right hand to punch the victim's right eye with great force.

"The accused them punched the victim's head with his left hand. The victim fell to the ground and sat in a crouched position, trying to use his forearms to shield himself."

Noh continued to punch and kick him until he fell in a foetal position on the floor.

Noh then stomped heavily on Osman's head twice and the man lost consciousness.

Prison officers rushed over and ordered Noh to stop.

DPP Shi told District Judge Imran Abdul Hamid that he landed at least 19 blows in all.

An ambulance took Osman to Changi General Hospital where he was found to be bleeding from his right eye.

A CT scan revealed that the eye had ruptured.

He was discharged on July 3 last year but a medical report about three months later revealed that the eye had become damaged and soft. Osman also complained of pain.

The eye was removed and Osman now uses a prosthesis.

DPP Shi said that Noh has a long history of criminal behaviour.

Since 2005, he had been convicted of offences including snatch theft, criminal breach of trust and robbery with hurt.

She urged to judge to sentence Noh, who was unrepresented, to at least four years' jail with six strokes of the cane.

Stressing that the attack on Osman was "brutal and vicious", she added: "By attacking a fellow inmate in prison, the accused had demonstrated a clear disregard for law and authority as represented by the penal institution."

For causing grievous hurt, he could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined or caned.