Man who hit victim's face with drain cover until he lost consciousness jailed

SINGAPORE - While out on bail after a brutal assault on a friend, a man attacked an elderly neighbour who suffered multiple facial fractures.

Mohamed Ayoob Salleh, who turned 58 last week, was jailed for five years on Tuesday (Feb 20) after pleading guilty to two counts of causing grievous hurt.

He also admitted to one count of causing hurt to a hawker centre worker by performing a rash act. Three other charges for similar offences were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that Ayoob and a friend, Mr Satya Nand Ram Avadh Rai, 55, were drinking at a basketball court near Block 209, Boon Lay Place at around 2.30pm on Sept 13, 2016 when they got into an argument, sparked by Mr Satya repeatedly asking Ayoob for money to buy more alcohol.

Defence lawyer Wee Hong Shern told the court that when his client refused to hand over the cash, Mr Satya abused him with vulgar language.

Ayoob then punched his friend who fell to the ground. After landing more blows, Ayoob picked up a drain cover, weighing more than 19kg, and used it to hit Mr Satya's face until he lost consciousness.

Mr Satya was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) where he was found with a fracture to his left eye socket and a broken nose. Deputy Public Prosecutor Charleston Teo said that police arrested Ayoob later that day.

On June 23 last year, while out on bail, he assaulted a neighbour, Mr Jamaldin Miah Brahim Miah, 76, before fleeing the scene at Block 209, Boon Lay Place. The court was told that Mr Jamaldin had a dispute with Ayoob's sister. An ambulance rushed the elderly man to NTFGH and a medical examination revealed that he had multiple facial fractures. Police arrested Ayoob the next day.

About two weeks prior to this incident, on June 10, Ayoob was involved in an altercation with a worker of a satay beehoon stall at a Boon Lay Place hawker centre at around 7pm. The worker had bought two bottles of beer and four cans of stout and placed them on a table. He planned to consume them after serving his customers.

Ayoob, who walked by minutes later, helped himself to the drinks. He got angry when the man tried to stop him and flung one beer bottle at the stall, hitting the worker's wife, Ms Tan Lye Hock, 66, who was packing food, on the head. She suffered a minor injury.

Before passing sentence on Tuesday, District Judge Kenneth Yap told Ayoob that the two men he attacked could have died.

Offenders can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined or caned on each each charge of causing grievous hurt. Ayoob cannot be caned as he is above 50 years old.