Jailed for fatal attack outside lounge in 2002

Seven men, armed with knives and wooden poles, attacked a man outside a karaoke lounge in Joo Chiat in 2002 and killed him.

Yesterday, 13 years after the brawl, the one who started it all, Mohamed Azhar Ayoob, 37, was sentenced to nine years' jail and ordered to be caned eight strokes for the attack on pest controller Zulkefelee Mohamed Nor, 33.

Azhar, who bore a grudge against Mr Zulkefelee, had summoned the others and supplied the weapons. After the assault, he fled to Malaysia, where he got married and had a daughter, until he was jailed for drug offences there in 2011. He was extradited to Singapore last year .

Azhar's sentence for the attack was the heaviest among the seven assailants. Five of the attackers were sentenced to between 71/2 and eight years' jail and eight strokes of the cane in 2003.

The sixth, Junaidi Ahmad, who also went on the run after the assault, was sentenced to 71/2 years' jail and seven strokes of the cane in 2012.

The High Court heard that close to midnight on Feb 4, 2002, at the Lagenda lounge, Azhar told Junaidi that he had spotted Mr Zulkefelee.

Azhar then contacted his accomplices and told them to gather at a nearby coffeeshop. He handed kitchen knives and wooden poles to them.

At about 2am, Mr Zulkefelee and two of his friends stepped out of the lounge. Soon after, they were set upon by Azhar and his accomplices, who charged at them with their weapons.

Mr Zulkefelee's friends were hit, but managed to run into the lounge and close the door behind them.

Mr Zulkefelee, however, did not manage to escape and was slashed and stabbed by the assailants. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at about 3 am.

Yesterday, Azhar pleaded guilty to being part of an unlawful assembly to cause grievous hurt to Mr Zulkefelee. Two other charges of hurting his friends were taken into consideration.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2015, with the headline 'Jailed for fatal attack outside lounge in 2002'. Print Edition | Subscribe