Inmate who attacked prison officer gets jail, cane

While being remanded at Changi Prison, an inmate broke a rule and wandered out of his cell to chat with a friend.

When a prison officer said disciplinary action would be taken, the inmate, Mohamad Farhan Tajuddin, attacked the officer about two hours later.

Yesterday, Farhan, 28, a mover, was jailed for five years and seven months and ordered to be given three strokes of the cane. He pleaded guilty last year to assaulting the prison officer, possessing a knife, threatening a boy with the weapon and two drug-related offences.

Farhan was in remand on Dec 8, 2016, after he was caught committing the drug offences and crimes involving the knife, a parang.

The court heard that at around 3pm on that day, the 55-year-old prison officer was on his rounds when he spotted Farhan going to another cell for a chat. He did so while another inmate was being transferred to his cell.

After he was caught, Farhan tried to negotiate with the officer who ignored him and left.

The officer returned to the area two hours later and went to Farhan's cell, whereupon the inmate punched his face and kicked him a few times. Farhan stopped only when other inmates pulled him away.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavita Uthrapathy said the assault was caught on CCTV and showed the accused assaulting the officer without any warning or provocation.

The victim suffered multiple bruises and was given seven days of medical leave.

Earlier, on Sept 25, 2016, Farhan had armed himself with a parang with a 45cm-long blade and confronted a teenager over a personal dispute at a playground near Block 545, Bedok North Street 3, at around 8.30pm. Court papers did not reveal details of the dispute.

Farhan was arrested and subsequently released, but re-arrested later outside the State Courts on Nov 10 that year for failing to report for urine tests. His urine sample was later found to contain methamphetamine.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2018, with the headline 'Inmate who attacked prison officer gets jail, cane'. Print Edition | Subscribe