Men fought with chopper and saw over money

Joseph Tan Chee Meng.
Joseph Tan Chee Meng.PHOTO: ST FILE

Both cut each other in carpark brawl; one jailed for 8 months, the other, 5 months

Last July, two men - one with a saw and the other with a chopper - attacked each other in an open-air carpark in Boon Lay over a money dispute, with both inflicting cuts on each other's arms.

Yesterday, one of the two, Joseph Tan Chee Meng, 49, pleaded guilty to hurting the other man with a dangerous weapon. He was sentenced to eight months in jail.

Two other charges - one of criminal intimidation and the other of causing hurt - were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The two offences were committed by Tan four months before the July incident and charges were initially withdrawn with a warning.

Court documents say Tan, who works in a car workshop, met 38-year-old Kua Cheow Wah on July 1 at the carpark beneath Tan's Boon Lay flat over a money-related disagreement.

Tan was armed with a saw, and Kua had a chopper.

On seeing each other, the two men ran at each other and began fighting.

Tan struck Kua's arms, leaving abrasions and bruises, while Kua slashed Tan's right wrist, leaving a deep cut.

Kua was sentenced to five months' jail in February for his role in the fight.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Goh Yi Ling said an aggravating factor was Tan's many brushes with the law since 1983, with past offences including possession of drugs, causing hurt and participation in an unlawful society.

In mitigation, Tan's lawyer Hilda Foo said Kua had provoked her client by driving to his house to confront him, that Tan had engaged Kua only to disarm him, and that the saw was for self-defence.

District Judge Liew Thiam Leng said that Tan had reoffended despite the warning given, and noted his tendency to commit offences of a violent nature.

For causing hurt with a dangerous weapon, Tan could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined, caned or sentenced to a combination of these punishments.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2016, with the headline 'Men fought with chopper and saw over money'. Print Edition | Subscribe