Man who took part in group assault which left victim with brain injury jailed 3 1/2 years

Phang Wee Lon pleaded guilty to three charges, with another three counts taken into consideration during sentencing.
Phang Wee Lon pleaded guilty to three charges, with another three counts taken into consideration during sentencing.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A 21-year-old man was sentenced to 3 1/2 years' jail with six strokes of the cane on Wednesday for rioting, theft and drug consumption.

Phang Wee Lon pleaded guilty to three charges, with another three counts taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that on Oct 21 last year, Phang, a permanent resident from Malaysia, went to Club Flux in Serangoon Road with four friends.

Also at the club were Shawn Ho Yong Han, 26, and Wang Jie Feng, 22, who did not interact with Phang or his friends.

As Mr Ho and Mr Wang were trying to get a taxi along Serangoon Road at about 3.30am the next morning, they saw Phang and his friends running towards them.

Phang and his friends pulled the duo onto the road, and punched and kicked them for about a minute.

The attackers then went back into the club. A bouncer who heard them talking about the assault and saw blood on one of their hands later called the police.

Mr Ho was taken to hospital with a skull fracture, and bleeding in his brain.

A medical report early this year stated that he has "occasional word finding difficulties". He was also diagnosed with post-traumatic epilepsy, as a result of his head injuries, and will need to take anti-convulsant medication for the rest of his life.

Mr Wang, meanwhile, had bruises on his head and arm. He did not see a doctor.

A month after the assault, Phang was arrested again, this time on suspicion of drug consumption.

His urine was found to contain methamphetamine, and he admitted to consuming "Ice".

The court also heard that on May 4 last year, Phang went to the Bottega Veneta Boutique at T Galleria by DFS in Scotts Road and stole a bracelet worth $530.

The next day, he went back to the shop and pocketed a similar bracelet while his friend distracted a shop assistant.

A security officer on the lookout for Phang saw him taking the bracelet from a display drawer and putting it into the front pocket of his trousers.

He detained Phang and called the police.

When Phang was released from police custody the next day, he also stole $20 from a 13-year-old student near NEX shopping mall.

In sentencing Phang on Wednesday, District Judge Mathew Joseph noted that the "extremely callous" assault on Mr Ho and Mr Wang was unprovoked, deliberate and prolonged.

The injuries suffered by Mr Ho was also indicative of the "horrific nature" of the assault, he said.

Noting that Phang has been placed on both probation and reformative training previously, and that he had committed offences while on bail, the judge said: "It seems that the law has got no sting on you. You've been quite bold and brazen."

Phang's sentence was backdated to the date of his remand on Nov 13 last year.