Man gets jail, cane for attempted robbery

A former cameraman waited in a Tampines bank for 20 minutes, then followed a man who withdrew $10,000 and tried to rob him.

When the victim refused to give up the money, Abdul Fattah Zahit kicked him.

The 44-year-old was yesterday jailed for two years and three months, and ordered to receive six strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to attempted robbery on Aug 29 last year.

Mr Lum Pak Yuen, 59, had gone to a Maybank branch at Block 139, Tampines Street 11 at around 9am that day and wanted to withdraw $10,000. As the teller needed some time to process his request, he took a seat in the waiting area.

Abdul Fattah entered the premises at around 9.40am and also sat in the waiting area after he was issued a queue ticket. But he did not approach the teller when his number was called, claiming that he was waiting for his wife.

Mr Lum received his money at around 10am and slipped the cash into his front left trouser pocket. Abdul Fattah tailed Mr Lum outside and punched Mr Lum in the back when they reached the next block, causing the older man to fall down.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhou Yihong said: "While on the ground, the accused tried to reach for the victim's pockets where the withdrawn money was kept... In the process of trying to take the victim's money, the accused kicked the victim."

An eyewitness, a 44-year-old man, saw the scuffle and approached Mr Lum.

Abdul Fattah then ran away.

The eyewitness tried to pursue him but soon lost sight of him.

Another man, aged 26, called the police and officers arrested Abdul Fattah about eight hours later.

Mr Lum went to Tampines Polyclinic two days later and was found to be suffering from injuries, including cuts on his forehead, knees and left elbow.

DPP Zhou urged District Judge Wong Li Tein to sentence Abdul Fattah to two years' jail with six strokes of the cane. She stressed that he had brazenly attempted to commit robbery in broad daylight.

For attempted robbery, Abdul Fattah, who was unrepresented, could have been jailed for between two and seven years, and received at least six strokes of the cane.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 09, 2017, with the headline 'Man gets jail, cane for attempted robbery'. Print Edition | Subscribe