SINGAPORE - An odd-job worker went along with his co-accused to rob a woman who was walking in a park in the early hours, as the latter needed money.
Goh Zheng Hui, 26, and Muhamad Fasli Mazlan, 32, were walking behind the victim when Fasli, who is unemployed, suggested robbing her.
Goh, who was a cleaner and part-time mover, agreed.
The offence took place on Nov 21 last year while Ms Eileen Pang Lay Kheng, 35, was walking in Pasir Ris Park.
At about 5.45am, she heard footsteps behind her and turned around to see Goh and Fasli.
Suddenly, she felt Fasli's arm around her neck and he was trying to choke her, a district court heard. She tried to resist and bite his arm but failed to do so.
During the tussle, her spectacles fell off. Fasli released her briefly when she tried to bite him, but then resumed his chokehold with his arm wrapped around her neck.
Goh punched her, causing her to drop her $500 iPhone. He then grabbed her Longchamp bag, worth $800. Inside her bag were items amounting to $1,457. Both men fled with the victim's bag and phone.
Ms Pang used a passer-by's mobile phone to call her parents, who took her to make a police report. She was given a day's medical leave for her injuries.
Subsequently, Fasil sold her phone on Carousell for $100. Goh was arrested at his home on Dec 13. Ms Pang's bag and Prada wallet worth $1,200 were recovered.
Fasli will be dealt with separately.
On Thursday (July 27), Goh was sentenced to the minimum three years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane for robbery. He pleaded guilty.
He also admitted to two counts of theft. He stole $409 worth of items from a shop at Grandlink Square, Guillemard Road, with Yusri Misnin, 37, on Dec 9 last year.
Earlier on July 20, he stole five cans of milk powder and four baby items totalling $332 from the NTUC FairPrice outlet in Bukit Timah Plaza.
Eight other charges, mainly theft, were considered during his sentencing.
Goh was sentenced to three months' jail each for theft.
District Judge Mathew Joseph ordered two of the sentences to run consecutively, making a total jail term of three years and three months and 12 strokes.
Pleading for leniency, Goh's lawyer Peter Ong said his client committed the robbery "on the spur of the moment". The thefts, he said, were committed out of desperation because of his financial circumstances.
He said Goh, who comes from a broken home, was desperate to take care of his three children, the eldest of whom is from his wife's previous marriage. The couple are expecting their fourth child.
Mr Ong said Goh is extremely remorseful for what has happened and for letting his family down.
Goh would not have committed the offences but for the sake of providing his family "with basic necessities", he said.
Judge Joseph said there was no excuse for Goh to "run around trying to get money in this way", and urged him to change for the sake of his family and not to turn to crime.
Goh could have been jailed for up to 14 years and caned for robbery; and jailed for up to seven years and fined on each charge of theft.