Chopper attack: Man gets jail, cane

A young child was sitting nearby but it did not deter two friends from attacking a man with a chopper following a dispute over a rental car.

Mohamad Afiq Mohamed Noor, 31, and John Kelvin Lee, 38, both odd-job workers, slashed, bit and kicked Mr Ho Hee Yang, 26, when he wanted to take back the car after its weekly rental was not paid in full.

Their violent act took place after midnight on Dec 4 last year in a Housing Board estate in Fernvale Road in Sengkang, a district court heard yesterday.

Lee was later sentenced to three strokes of the cane and 30 months and three weeks in jail by District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt. He pleaded guilty to three charges: causing grievous hurt, an unrelated second count of assault, and theft.

He could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined or caned for causing grievous hurt.

Three other charges were taken into consideration in his sentencing.

Afiq's case is pending.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Si En told the court that Afiq rented a Honda Stream for a month in November 2016 from Mr Ho, who owns a vehicle rental firm. He agreed to pay $490 a week but later in the month owed Mr Ho $210.

He was given a deadline to pay by 7pm on Dec 3 last year or the car would be taken away.

When Afiq failed to pay, Mr Ho, using a GPS tracker he had installed in the Honda Stream, traced it to a spot near Block 416B in Fernvale Road. It was 12.45 am on Dec 4.

Meanwhile, Afiq called Lee two hours after the deadline to ask for support should there be a dispute. The two men waited near the car with Afiq's guarantor Siti Zubaydah Mohd Hamzah and the child. Court papers did not give any more details of the child or the guarantor.

After Mr Ho collected the amount owed from the guarantor, Lee confronted and kept punching him. Afiq, who had a chopper with him, slashed Mr Ho repeatedly and Lee snatched a gold chain from the victim's neck.

Mr Ho subsequently pleaded with the duo to stop, DPP Tan said, adding: "The accused and Afiq kicked Ho's head around six to seven times before leaving."

The injured Mr Ho later called out to some police officers in the vicinity and was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. His injuries included a fracture in his right hand and multiple lacerations.

In a separate incident last year, Lee punched a 58-year-old cabby in South Bridge Road at around 2.30pm on June 30. He got angry when the cabby sounded his horn as he was jaywalking.

Shaffiq Alkhatib

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2017, with the headline 'Chopper attack: Man gets jail, cane'. Print Edition | Subscribe