Man in Circular Road rioting case gets 30 months and six strokes

Muhammad Izzuandy Yusof, who was involved in the first incident , was convicted of rioting.
Muhammad Izzuandy Yusof, who was involved in the first incident , was convicted of rioting. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - On Christmas Eve 2015, a group of 12 people were separately involved in three bloody incidents that eventually led to the death of an American stuntman.

Muhammad Izzuandy Yusof, who was involved in the first incident , was convicted of rioting. The 24-year-old was sentenced to 30 months' jail and six strokes of the cane.

Izzuandy pleaded guilty to rioting outside Mogambo Bar at Canton Street and along Circular Road with 11 others on Dec 24.

On Tuesday (Dec 6), a district court heard that half of the group of 12 rioters, including Izzuandy, had secret society connections.

The first incident happened after a drinking session at Circular Road.Muhammad Haziq Hashim, 24, had got into a dispute with his girlfriend, Norazilah Zainol, 23, outside Beer Inn on Circular Road.

They started shouting and pushing each other while walking. The rest of the group followed and tried unsuccessfully to intervene.

The dispute attracted the attention of onlookers including Mr Akash Kukreja, Ms Charlotte Roscoe, Mr Desmond Pheh Hou Chin and Mr Teo Zhihan.

One of the men in the group of 12 asked Mr Pheh, 22, and Mr Teo, 29, what they were looking at.

Though Mr Pheh indicated with his arm raised that he did not want any trouble, he was punched by a member of the group, who also attacked Mr Teo.

Several others, including Izzuandy, joined in, punching and kicking both victims.

When Mr Kukreja, 32, stepped forward to make sure that Norazilah was not hurt, he was punched by one of the members of the assembly. Mr Kukreja retaliated but lost his balance and fell onto the road.

When Ms Roscoe, 26, tried to help by pulling the assailant away, she too was punched in the face. Several others, including Izzuandy, joined in to punch and kick Mr Kukreja and Ms Roscoe.

The fight eventually stopped. Some in the group then left for a disco in Pan Pacific Hotel while the rest stayed behind at Beer Inn.

At about 3am, Mr Kukreja and two unknown men returned to Beer Inn intending to confront the group but three public relations officers (PRO) who were working at the time stopped them.

That's when the second incident occurred.

The remaining group of accused persons, together with the three PROs, punched and kicked the trio, and later chased them to the taxi stand beside 7-Eleven.

After the fight ended, American stuntman John Denley Nelson, 30, who was not involved in both of the earlier rioting incidents, stepped in and tried to mediate in a dispute involving the group and a Caucasian woman.

He ended up as the victim of the third incident.

Mr Nelson was attacked from behind and punched on the side of his head, causing him to fall to the ground with a loud "pom'' sound.

Izzuandy was originally charged with the murder of Mr Nelson, while being a member of the unlawful assembly.

But the court heard that he was not part of the group who assaulted the Universal Studios employee who died on New Year's Day of severe head injury.

Izzuandy was actually in a taxi when he saw his friend moving around restlessly and was concerned that he would get attacked. Izzuandy immediately alighted and walked over and told his friend to calm down. He then returned to the taxi and went home.

In sentencing him, the court gave him another two weeks' jail for an unrelated theft of $400 from a taxi driver's money box.

He had committed the theft with Muhammad Haziq Hashim, 24, on Nov 23, 2015.

Izzuandy had also faced a third charge of theft and that was taken into consideration for sentencing.

His sentence was backdated to his remand on Jan 7, 2016.