Man used chopper to attack teen while out on bail

A man who was already out on bail for another offence struck a teenager on the head with a chopper because he thought the boy was staring at him.

Chong Chee Keong, 51, was sentenced to eight months' jail yesterday for one count of voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon and another count for being part of an unlawful assembly in a fight in Jalan Sultan in 2016.

He was out on bail for the Jalan Sultan incident.

The court heard that Mohamed Ashiq Halid, 17, was chatting with his older brother and a cousin at the void deck of Block 48 Lower Delta Road on Oct 31 last year when Chong accused the boy of staring.

Court documents stated that this was the second time Chong had seen Ashiq.

Chong went up to his unit and returned with a chopper that he swung at Ashiq's neck. Ashiq managed to push him away but Chong grabbed his collar and again swung the chopper at his head. Ashiq felt a sharp pain, shoved Chong away and ran off. The teenager was treated for a 3cm scalp laceration at Singapore General Hospital.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rachel Tan told the court that the act was "premeditated" and "unprovoked".

Chong, who works as a cleaner, said that he suffers from depression and pleaded for leniency.

District Judge Mathew Joseph said: "I'm a little concerned. This is a totally unprovoked attack. It's just a little boy sitting down." He added that Chong should "consider himself fortunate" that Ashiq did not suffer more serious injuries.

The court heard that Chong had "played a leading role" in the Jalan Sultan fight on Aug 27, 2016.

A female friend of Mr Syed Shazwan Syed Omar, 24, had told Chong to stop urinating in public, which made him unhappy. Chong challenged Mr Shazwan to a fight and the two traded blows. Chong later told five co-workers about it and they beat up Mr Shazwan, fleeing before the police arrived.

For voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon, Chong could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined or caned, or received any combination of these three penalties. For being a member of an unlawful assembly, he could have received up to two years' jail, a fine, or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 24, 2018, with the headline 'Man used chopper to attack teen while out on bail'. Print Edition | Subscribe