Jail, caning for slashing hawker

Angry with an acquaintance who he thought was badmouthing him, a drug offender slashed the hawker, causing serious injuries.

The victim, Mr Muhammad Syafie Ridzuan, 29, suffered cuts on his right thigh and left palm that were each 3cm deep, as well as a fracture on his left hand.

Court documents revealed that Suliman Mohamed Ali, a part-time mover, had attacked Mr Syafie with a knife "as long as his forearm".

Suliman, 32, was sentenced to 41/2 years' jail with nine strokes of the cane yesterday after pleading guilty in court to one count each of causing grievous hurt with a weapon and consuming methamphetamine. He also admitted to two counts of narcotics possession. Four other drug-related charges were taken into consideration.

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Suliman had arranged to meet Mr Syafie at Block 157, Serangoon North Avenue 1, on Oct 13 last year and took a knife from his kitchen with him.

At around 11pm, he called a friend, 32-year-old Uber driver Nurhisam Raman, to pick him up from the location. Nurhisam, who was dealt with in court earlier, arrived at around 11.30pm and Suliman told him to wait, but did not say why.

When Mr Syafie turned up at a nearby carpark on his motorcycle at around the same time, Suliman confronted him and asked: "Where (do) you want to run?"

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenny Yang said: "The accused then suddenly swung the knife at the victim (who) tried to block the attack with his left hand but was slashed on his left palm.

"The victim tried to run away from the accused but was slashed a second time on his right thigh."

Suliman and Nurhisam then fled the scene together.

DPP Yang said Nurhisam asked Suliman what had transpired but got no answer. Instead, Suliman told him to just drive. Nurhisam drove to his parents' place with Suliman accompanying him.

Meanwhile, Mr Syafie was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Officers arrested Suliman at Block 141, Serangoon North Avenue 2, four days after the attack.

He was found to be in possession of 10.67g of methamphetamine or "Ice" and 22 nimetazepam or Erimin-5 tablets. Traces of methamphetamine were detected in his urine sample.

For causing grievous hurt with a knife, Suliman could have been jailed up to 15 years and fined or caned.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2017, with the headline 'Jail, caning for slashing hawker'. Print Edition | Subscribe