Man jailed, caned for role in brutal group attack

A fourth man involved in a serious assault on a cleaner at a multi-storey carpark in Pearls Centre was sentenced to four years' jail and six strokes of the cane yesterday.

Malaysian cleaner Anathan Muniandy, 21, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of punching, kicking and using a dustbin to hit Mr S. Krisnan Value, 47, who eventually died from a crushed throat on Sept 7 last year.

His compatriots - Kirubakaran Manikumaran, 22; Anathan's cousin Thiagu, 23; and Sunder Rangasamy, 27 - received similar sentences on Tuesday for causing grievious hurt. The four were initially charged with murder.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kumaresan Gohulabalan said this was a brutal group attack on the victim, who suffered 63 external injuries.

Anathan, who has mild intellectual disability, and Sunder joined Mr Krisnan, Kirubakaran and Thiagu for drinks at a coffee shop in Pearls Centre in Eu Tong Sen Street at around 8pm on Sept 6 last year. The five later proceeded to a Redhill Close coffee shop for more drinks.

At about 11pm, a quarrel broke out between Mr Krisnan and Anathan. Kirubakaran hit Mr Krisnan twice in the face with his belt. He and Anathan later apologised for the attack. The group decided to return to Pearls Centre. They bought beer and drank at Level 11 of the carpark. Mr Krisnan became very drunk and lay on a mattress on the floor.

Later, Kirubakaran got into another dispute with Mr Krisnan, and they challenged each other to a fight. Kirubakaran punched Mr Krisnan twice in the face, and told the rest to beat up Mr Krisnan after he fell.

Anathan hit the victim's face and chest three to four times with a dustbin. Sunder threw a large plastic dustbin at Mr Krisnan twice.

The four panicked when they later realised that Mr Krisnan had died. They fled the country via the Woodlands Checkpoint but were later arrested.

Anathan's lawyer M. Kalidass urged the court to consider that his client was 20 at the time, and his IQ score was 63.

The maximum punishment for causing grievous hurt is 10 years' jail, fine and caning.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2015, with the headline 'Man jailed, caned for role in brutal group attack'. Print Edition | Subscribe