Man jailed 30 months for scalding inmate and illegally leaving country

SINGAPORE - A man who poured hot water on a fellow inmate and left Singapore while under a police supervision order was jailed for 30 months on Monday.

Mustafa Ya'acob, 59, who has been detained under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act since 2003, pleaded guilty to grievously hurting Aaron Ayoop Khan, 51, by pouring hot water on his body at Changi Prison A1 Housing unit 2 mess area, on Jan 25, 2012.

He also admitted to failing to remain indoors during restricted hours; cutting the rubber strip and the security clip of an electronic monitoring transmitter device at his home in Toa Payoh on April 1 this year; and leaving Singapore without the written authority of the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department.

Deputy Public Prosecutor S. Adrianni Marhain said on Jan 23, 2012, Khan intervened when one of the inmates who was a member of the Omega group, which Mustafa belonged to as well, assaulted a prison officer.

Mustafa, who was nearby, did nothing to stop the assault as he did not want to cause trouble with his "brothers''.

He was reprimanded as a result and told that he would be sent to an isolated segregated cell as "punishment''.

About an hour later, he saw Khan watching television in the mess area. Angered by what had transpired earlier, he went to the kitchen area and collected a pail of hot water and emptied the pail onto the victim.

The victim stood up and pushed the pail away from Mustafa's hand, while a fellow inmate pulled Mustafa away.

The victim was taken to hospital after sustaining 17 per cent total body surface area partial thickness burns. He was discharged two days later but readmitted for management of burn wounds on Jan 31 until his discharge on Feb 22 that year.

Ms Adrianni said Mustafa was released from prison on Dec 2 last year to undergo three years' police supervision.

In January this year, he was electronically tagged and was supposed to remain indoors and not leave the country without authority. He skipped court on April 2 and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Investigation showed that he had cut the rubber strip and security clip of the tag the previous night and left home in breach of the police supervision order.

With the help of some associates, he left Singapore on April 6 by sampan at Jurong Port, which brought him to a ship en route to Batam, Indonesia. From there, he made his way to Johor and was arrested by the Malaysian authorities on April 30. He was then extradited to Singapore.

Two other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.