Jail, caning for 2 assailants who attacked man over unproven rape allegation

SINGAPORE - Two friends, who were out on bail, brutally attacked a man with a knife, a baton and a knuckleduster after the wife of one of the assailants accused the victim of raping her.

The attack was so vicious that the knuckleduster tore a chunk of flesh from the 29-year-old victim's head.

The victim, who was later found with injuries including multiple stab wounds as well as fractures to his left foot and right forearm, also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the attack.

But on Thursday (Aug 25), District Judge Eddy Tham said that the rape allegation was unproven, adding: "(There is) no room for vigilante justice here."

The woman's husband, Andre Chen Si'En, 32, was sentenced to eight years' jail with nine strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to two assault charges and one count of drug consumption.

The other assailant, Gervan Wong Jun Heng, 27, pleaded guilty to 14 charges, including assault, drug abuse and traffic offences.

Wong was on Thursday sentenced to seven years, three months and 16 weeks' jail with six strokes of the cane.

He was also fined of $2,400 and disqualified from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licences for a period of two years.

Court documents did not disclose the reasons behind the rape allegation. It was not mentioned if action would be taken against Chen's wife.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Huo Jiongrui said that the victim, who was Chen's friend, did not know Wong.

On May 9, 2020, Chen received text messages from his wife, claiming that the victim had raped her the night before.

Chen then told Wong about the matter and the younger man agreed to accompany him to settle the matter with the victim.

At around 9pm, Chen contacted the victim and asked him out for drinks.

Chen and Wong later picked him up near his home and the pair took him to Choa Chu Kang Cemetery at around 3am on May 10, 2020.

Chen then asked the victim about the rape allegation but received what he thought were half-hearted replies from him.

Incensed, Chen attacked the man with a knuckleduster before stabbing his legs with a knife.

Wong soon joined in and attacked the victim with the baton. The pair took turns to attack him until they were both winded, the court heard.

At some point during the attack, Chen also took the victim's mobile phone, valued at $300, and smashed it against a tombstone.

The DPP said: "After (the pair) got too tired to continue, (the victim) begged the two men for water. Gervan took some water... and sprayed it (on his) face instead."

After that, the attackers ordered the man to crawl back to a nearby car before Wong drove him home.

The prosecutor said that the injured victim was unceremoniously dumped at the foot of his apartment block to fend for himself.

He managed to stagger back to his flat, leaving a trail of blood and his mother called for emergency services when she saw him at the doorstep.

An ambulance took him to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and he was warded until May 12, 2020.

The victim suffered from PTSD following this attack. As of June 20 this year, he had forked out around $2,050 for his medical bills at SGH and the Institute of Mental Health.

In an earlier statement, police said that they were informed about the incident at around 5.40am on May 10, 2020.

Officers from Jurong Police Division managed to establish the assailants' identities through ground inquiries and images from police cameras.

They managed to arrest the pair later that day.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.