Truck driver sentenced to jail and caning for robbery of 7-11 cashier

SINGAPORE - A truck driver who robbed a convenience store cashier, attacking the victim with a metal rod even after being handed some money, was sentenced to three and a half years' jail on Thursday. He was ordered to be given 12 strokes of the cane.

James Wo Wai Yee, 40, took $600 from the 7-11 store in North Bridge Road on Aug 8. Around 4.20am, with no one else around, he picked up a penknife from the counter, pointed it at cashier Uthirapathy Kumarasamy's throat and demanded money.

Wo hit Mr Uthirapathy's arm with the 55cm metal rod, which he had hidden in his trousers, when the cashier asked what he meant.

The cashier then opened the cash register and handed over $600, but Wo thrice swung the rod at his victim, who had gone into a squatting position.

He stopped and left only when begged by the cashier, who said: "Please! I have two child(ren)! Please! Please!"

Mr Uthirapathy was seen in hospital for injuries including a fracture in his lower arm, which he had used to ward off the rod attack. He was given 10 days of medical leave.

Wo was admitted to hospital later that day, after his lorry was involved in an accident in the evening. He was arrested the following day, after police analysed camera footage and traced his vehicle's license plate number.

Besides the robbery charge, Wo also admitted to three traffic offences in connection with the accident. For committing robbery between 7pm and 7am, he could have been jailed between three and 14 years and given at least 12 strokes of the cane.