Student targeted foreign workers and assaulted them

20-year-old gets reformative training; such offences in multiracial S'pore cannot be tolerated, says prosecutor

A student has been sentenced to reformative training after he assaulted five construction workers in nine months.

A court heard how 20-year-old Razmy Abdul Rahim had a "hatred" for Indian nationals and targeted them because he disliked how they looked at his mother and girlfriend.

The ITE College East student pleaded guilty last month to two counts of causing hurt and one each of causing grievous hurt and causing hurt with a dangerous weapon. Two other charges of hurt were considered.

Five charges concern the assault of foreign workers.

Sentencing him on Tuesday, Community Court Judge Mathew Joseph said Razmy's offences were "deplorable" and "inexcusable".

He also noted that Razmy had committed some of the offences while serving probation.

The Reformative Training Centre, meant for those between 14 and 21 years old, requires the offender to be detained in a structured environment for between 18 months and three years.

In his submissions on sentence, Deputy Public Prosecutor Jason Chua said foreign workers are regarded as vulnerable victims because they generally are unaware of their rights and may even be unable, because of their work commitments or barriers of culture and language, to assert their rights after having been wronged.

He added that in the light of Singapore's multiracial and multicultural society, offences such as Razmy's cannot be tolerated.

The first assault took place in June 2013 when Razmy and co-accused Ko Wai Kit, 18, whose case is pending, confronted Mr Ali Mohammad Madob, 27, along a covered path in Hougang Avenue 3.

One held on to the Bangladeshi worker and the other punched him on the nose, causing it to bleed. Mr Ali struggled free but the pair kept punching him in the face before fleeing. The following month, the duo punched Indian national Santhanam Chandiramohan, 37, in the head on the same road.

In March 2014, four Indian construction workers approached Razmy and Ko and asked about an earlier incident in which Razmy had been seen holding a penknife near a bus stop .

Razmy assaulted two of the workers before punching another on the cheek and right arm. He was then restrained by the rest of the group. One of the victims was left with a dislocated shoulder after the incident.

In the last incident in September that year, Razmy assaulted a fellow student in a toilet at the college after accusing him of spreading rumours about him. Razmy wrapped a bicycle chain around his fist and punched the victim, who did not retaliate.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2016, with the headline 'Student targeted foreign workers and assaulted them'. Print Edition | Subscribe