Jobless man jailed 10 years after robbing young boys to fuel drug habit

SINGAPORE - A drug abuser who robbed a schoolboy after threatening him with a knife was sentenced to a total of 10 years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane on Wednesday.

Jobless Mohamed Faizal Manokhor Ali, 35, admitted robbing the 13-year-old of his mobile phone, wallet, ezLink card and coins in a lift at Jurong West Central 1 on April 1 this year.

He also admitted consuming morphine when his 2009 conviction for a similar offence had not been set aside, as well as failing to report for urine test.

Five other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing - including robbing three other boys of their phones.

A district court heard that Faizal was loitering near Block 689 Jurong West Central 1 on April 1 when he decided to rob the youngster as he returned home from school.

He followed the boy into the lift and once the doors closed, pointed his multi-purpose knife towards him and demanded that he hand over his mobile phone and money.

The total value of items stolen amounted to more than $1,000. Faizal sold the phone for $40 and spent the money on drugs. He was arrested in Boon Lay Place two weeks later.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Houston Johannus said Faizal had admitted deliberately targeting schoolchildren as he felt that they were more compliant than adults or the elderly.

His three-year and six-stroke sentence for robbery and seven-year and six-stroke sentence for drug consumption were the minimum. Both are to run consecutively

He could have been jailed for up to 10 years for robbery and up to 13 for drug consumption.