Man jailed for revenge attack with chopper

Matthew Tan slashed a club manager's friend with a 27cm chopper, leaving the victim with seven deep cuts and facial fractures.
Matthew Tan slashed a club manager's friend with a 27cm chopper, leaving the victim with seven deep cuts and facial fractures. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

Banned from Thai disco, he slashed club manager's unarmed friend

HE WAS banned from a Thai disco club after a spat with the club's manager. In revenge, he slashed the manager's friend with a 27cm chopper, leaving the victim with seven deep cuts and facial fractures.

Yesterday, Matthew Tan, 40, was jailed for 3 1/2 years after pleading guilty to one count of voluntarily causing grievous hurt.

The court heard that Tan had gone to Club Diva in Golden Mile Complex around 11pm on Feb 18 last year. When he was denied entry, he made a scene outside the club, shouting and demanding to see the manager.

The bouncer suspected that Tan was carrying a hidden weapon and told the management, who called the police.

Tan then walked away angrily but continued to loiter near the club for nearly two hours.

Around 1am, Mr Yong Yoong Shin, who was 37 and self-employed then, went out of the club for a smoke. He was present when Tan argued with the club manager.

Tan confronted Mr Yong when they bumped into each other in the toilet in Basement 1.

Mr Yong ignored Tan, further enraging him.

Tan then drew the chopper from the waistband of his trousers and hacked at Mr Yong's face and torso.

A passer-by saw the attack and called the police.

Tan was arrested shortly after, and Mr Yong was taken to the emergency department at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Mr Yong sustained severe injuries, including a 15cm gash across his lower left back and a 10cm cut from his forehead to nose.

He required two sessions of surgery, including the repair of facial bones.

Tan's lawyer, Mr S.S. Dhillon, said in mitigation that this was Tan's first offence.

The court also noted that Tan suffers from delusions and depression, and has been a patient at the Institute of Mental Health since

July 1993, when he threatened to commit suicide during national service.

However, Assistant Public Prosecutor Puvaneswari Sandirasekaran argued that the brutal attack on the unarmed victim was unprovoked.

She added that Tan's weapon of choice was a large chopper, and that he was intoxicated at the time.

For voluntarily causing grievous hurt, Tan could have been jailed for up to 15 years, fined and caned.

The court decided against caning, given that Tan was a first-time offender.

rkurohi@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2015, with the headline 'Man jailed for revenge attack with chopper'. Print Edition | Subscribe