Man with 14-year string of convictions sentenced to 5 years' corrective training

Mohammad Japar's corrective training report found him to be at moderate to high risk of reoffending. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A 41-year-old man was sentenced to five years' corrective training on Tuesday (Nov 24) for a spate of thefts, cheating and causing hurt.

Mohammad Japar, unemployed, pleaded guilty to four charges with another three counts taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that at about 12.30pm on Sept 23 last year, Mohammad and his girlfriend were at Ang Mo Kio Hub shopping mall when they hatched a plan to swop a fake diamond ring with a real one.

His girlfriend, Tan Li Chen, 40, bought a fake diamond ring for $4 at a shop in Ang Mo Kio Hub.

At about 2pm, she entered Shing Heng Pawnshop, in Block 702 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, while Mohammad waited outside .

Tan hid the fake diamond ring in her hand, and asked to try on a similar looking genuine diamond ring, worth $12,852.

She then swopped the real ring with the fake one, and returned it together with the price tag from the real ring to an assistant valuer at the pawnshop.

She then sought to negotiate the ring's price. When the assistant valuer went to the cashier's area to check on a price she could offer, Tan went out of the pawnshop and passed the real ring to Mohammad.

He then left with the ring, and went home.

Shortly after, the assistant valuer realised the ring in her hand was fake. She alerted colleagues who managed to detain Tan outside the shop.

Mohammad later returned to the pawnshop and he was also arrested by police.

Later that night, he led police to the genuine diamond ring in his flat.

Tan was sentenced to two months' jail last month for her role in the cheating case.

The court also heard that, in a separate case on Dec 21 last year, Mohammad punched a 65-year-old clinic assistant at the CMC Wong Binjai Clinic in Binjai Park.

He had gone there at about 9.30pm to buy sleeping pills.

The assistant told him that only the doctor could prescribe the pills and quoted him the doctor's consultation fees.

But he punched the assistant's left upper lip suddenly and tried to throw another punch. He missed and left the clinic.

Between December last year and Jan 7 this year, Mohammad and his girlfriend also stole footwear from common corridors of HDB blocks near Bishan Street 22.

They would place the loot in a backpack or plastic bag and take them back to Tan's flat, and later sell them at Tekka Market.

On Sept 18 this year, while working part time at the Fairmont Hotel in Bras Basah Road, Mohammad also stole from a security guard there.

The victim had placed his wallet at a counter when Mohammad came by to collect his hotel pass at about 1.40pm. When the victim turned to get the pass, Mohammad took the wallet and kept it in his pocket. CCTV footage captured the theft.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Amardeep Singh asked for corrective training to be imposed on Mohammad, noting his criminal record.

He was placed on probation for theft when younger, and was convicted of various offences including theft, cheating and drug abuse in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2014.

"This is someone for whom imprisonment has not worked," said the DPP.

In mitigation, Mohammad's lawyer Amarick Gill said his client had been a patient at the Institute of Mental Health since 2010 for addiction to sleeping tablets.

An IMH report stated that his client had depression and substance abuse issues.

The lawyer asked for a "significant" imprisonment term instead.

District Judge Christopher Goh noted that Mohammad's corrective training report found him to be at moderate to high risk of reoffending, and sentenced him to five years' corrective training .

Corrective training is a tough regime for repeat offenders, with no remission for good behaviour.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.