A 28-year-old man who flung his friend over a parapet in a multi-storey carpark during a row over a mobile phone was yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment and 12 strokes of the cane for murder.
Syed Maffi Hasan lifted part-time waitress Atika Dolkifli, 23, and threw her over the parapet of Deck 5A of the carpark in Toa Payoh Lorong 2 on the night of Aug 31, 2015.
In May this year, he was convicted of murder with the intention of causing bodily injury that was likely to cause death, after giving up his fight against the charge.
During his trial, the High Court heard that the two got to know each other on Facebook in 2013, and reconnected in April 2015. Ms Atika lent Syed Maffi, who was jobless, her spare phone in May 2015 as he did not have one.
The iPhone 5C later became faulty and he spent about $125 on repairs. But he lied to her about the cost and sought reimbursement of $300.
He turned up at her workplace many times, and also went to her home but was turned away by her father. Her older brother told Syed Maffi to keep the phone and warned him not to contact Ms Atika again.
However, on Aug 31, 2015, Syed Maffi arranged to meet Ms Atika after her shift ended.
Surveillance footage showed them entering the carpark at about 9.50pm and Syed Maffi leaving alone with her handbag at about 10.30pm. He admitted in court that they had argued over the repair costs on the top deck of the carpark.
During the argument, he pushed Ms Atika, causing her to fall and hit the back of her head on a flight of stairs.
He then dragged the semi-conscious woman down the remaining steps, grabbed her by her clothes and threw her over the parapet. He also took her phone and left her handbag inside a drain in Toa Payoh Lorong 1.
Ms Atika's father lodged a missing person report on Sept 1.
The next day, Syed Maffi lied to Ms Atika's brother that he last saw her walking towards the carpark.
He later confessed to police that he had thrown her over the parapet.
Yesterday, prosecutors sought a life term and at least 12 strokes of the cane. Deputy Public Prosecutor Bhajanvir Singh said Syed Maffi had persisted in hurting Ms Atika even after he saw that she was semi-conscious.
Defence counsel Pratap Kishan asked for the "least number of strokes", saying that his client regrets his actions and has not wasted the court's time.