Man jailed 11 months for his part in bid to rob cabby in Lim Chu Kang cemetery

Tan Jing Zi pleaded guilty to a charge of causing hurt with common intention and to a count of theft.
Tan Jing Zi pleaded guilty to a charge of causing hurt with common intention and to a count of theft.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A 23-year-old man, who took part in an armed robbery bid which left the victim - a taxi driver - with cuts on his finger, lip and forehead was on Friday (Feb 26) jailed for 11 months.

Tan Jing Zi pleaded guilty to a charge of causing hurt with common intention and to a count of theft.

A district court heard that in May last year, Tan and two friends hatched a plan to rob an elderly taxi driver as they were jobless and desperate for money.

They got into a Trans-Cab taxi in Tampines at about midnight on May 14 and asked the driver to go to the Chinese cemetery in Choa Chu Kang Road.

After they reached the cemetery, Tan and Eng Wan Fong, 22, ran out of the taxi to act as look-outs, while Eng's boyfriend, Goh Tong Chien, 22, took out a chopper hidden in his bag and started slashing cabbie Sazali Abdullah, 58, from behind.

Mr Sazali used his right hand to fend off the attacks.

But the sight of blood splattered all over the taxi scared the assailant so much that he fled without taking any money. Goh threw the chopper into a nearby drain.

Mr Sazali drove out of the cemetery to the main road and called the police. He was given 17 days of medical leave.

The trio who took part in the attack were arrested at about 4am on the same day.

Just a week before the attack, they also stole from a Challenger shop at Tampines Central.

On May 6, together with Tan's girlfriend Goh Hui Si, 18, the trio jointly stole $120 worth of accessories for Goh's mobile phone.

The alarm at the security gantry of the store was activated and rang loudly when they left, but shop staff were not able to catch up with them.

In sentencing Tan, District Judge Low Wee Ping said "a stint of incarceration would be necessary".

A pre-sentencing report had found Tan to be unsuitable for probation.

The judge noted that Tan had been issued with several police warnings since he was 17, for offences ranging from theft to trespassing.

In 2008, he stole a bicycle. The next year he stole hair gel from a shop. Around this time, he also joined a secret society.

At 16, he started drinking alcohol with his friends. At 17, he had sex with a minor.

In 2014, he threw a lighted cigarette into a rubbish bin at an Institute of Technical Education campus and caused a fire. Last year, he stole 15 items from a shop and went door-to-door collecting money without a licence.

Tan also has a daughter with a former girlfriend. He did not take responsibility for the child because he had told her to abort the baby.

For his role in hurting Mr Sazali with a weapon likely to cause death, Tan could have been jailed for seven years, fined and caned.

For his role in the theft, he could have been jailed for seven years and fined.

Under the law, when a crime is committed jointly by several persons, each person is liable for it as if it was committed by just one of them .

Goh, who pleaded guilty to three charges, including one of slashing the cabby and one of punching his aunt in her eye while drunk, was jailed for 22 months with three strokes of the cane in December last year.

Eng, a single mother, was sentenced to 12 months' jail last month for her role in the attack on Mr Sazali.