Man gets two years' jail for causing colleague's death

Shagar
Shagar

A CONSTRUCTION worker struck a colleague with a wooden pole in a quarrel over some freshly laid concrete - and ended up killing him.

Shagar, 40 - a Bangladeshi who goes by one name - was sentenced to two years' jail yesterday after he admitted to causing the death of Mr Liu Chunhua, 37, through a rash act.

The court heard that Shagar had intervened in a fight between Mr Liu and Bangladeshi worker Paul Rakesh Chandra, 28, at an apartment block they were building. Mr Chandra had stepped in some wet concrete that Mr Liu had been laying.

Mr Liu hurled vulgarities at Mr Chandra and threatened him with a trowel. When Shagar and another man stepped in, Mr Liu attacked them with the implement. Shagar then picked up the wooden pole, which was about 2m long, and advanced towards Mr Liu, who retreated.

He then swung it on the head of Mr Liu, who collapsed.

Shagar and the other man fled but were arrested soon after the incident at the 21-storey Cradels condominium project in Lorong Limau in Balestier last Aug 17.

Mr Liu, who was from China, suffered fractures to his skull and a laceration on his head.

Doctors discovered that his brain stem was bleeding from the impact and placed him on life support. He was pronounced dead at Tan Tock Seng Hospital the following afternoon.

Shagar, who was working for Hock Star Multi Tech at the time, was originally charged with murder which would have seen him sentenced to death if convicted.

The charge was reduced after it was determined that his action was not premeditated and he did not intend for Mr Liu to die.

The fact that Mr Liu was the initial aggressor was also acknowledged.

Two of his colleagues were charged with voluntarily causing grievous hurt but were acquitted.

Shagar's lawyer, Mr S. K. Kumar, said his client had been trying to intervene in a conflict and had good intentions. "He was the Good Samaritan who tried to prevent the quarrel from escalating," said Mr Kumar.

However, the prosecution argued that Shagar's violent response had been excessive in that his single blow was powerful enough to kill Mr Liu.

Shagar will be repatriated after serving his term and is unlikely to be allowed back into Singapore.

For causing death by a rash act, he could have been jailed for up to five years and fined.

rkurohi@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2015, with the headline 'Man gets two years' jail for causing colleague's death'. Print Edition | Subscribe