Second attacker in Boon Lay wedding slashing pleads guilty

SINGAPORE - A second man on Wednesday admitted to his role in an attack at a wedding party in Boon Lay that left two victims injured.

He pleaded guilty to six charges over offences that included voluntarily causing grievous hurt with a dangerous weapon, being a member of an unlawful society and criminal intimidation.

The offender, 20, cannot be named as he was around 14 years old when he first got involved in secret society-related activities in 2016.

Those who commit offences before they turn 18 are covered under the Children and Young Persons Act.

The court has called for a report to assess the offender’s suitability for reformative training.

Offenders given reformative training will be detained in a centre and made to follow a strict regimen that can include counselling and foot drills.

The offender will be sentenced on Nov 30.

His friend and accomplice, Muhammad Sajid Saleem, also 20, pleaded guilty on Nov 2 to one count each of being a secret society member and voluntarily causing grievous hurt with weapons.

Sajid will be sentenced on Nov 23.

Sajid and the offender met each other in 2016. The pair grew closer four years later when they found out that they were members of the same secret society.

They agreed that they would support each other if either of them had any disputes with third parties.

Two months before the attack, Sajid became infuriated in February 2022 after his then girlfriend messaged a man identified as Mr Praveen Raj Chanthiran, 23.

Sajid called Mr Praveen to tell him not to contact the woman, sparking verbal disputes over the phone.

Sajid then planned an attack against Mr Praveen after an argument in late March.

On April 5, Sajid told his friend – the one who was convicted on Wednesday – that he wanted to attack Mr Praveen, who would be in Boon Lay for a friend’s wedding.

Sajid and his fellow secret society member then bought two bread knives that were about 23.5cm long before heading to Block 175 Boon Lay Drive with the weapons on April 6.

They tracked Mr Praveen’s movements through his social media posts and saw him exiting a vehicle with others at about 4.50pm.

The group had returned from the wedding and intended to continue celebrating at the groom’s block.

The duo ran towards Mr Praveen, and Sajid swung the knife at the older man’s head. They also slashed the victim’s hand.

When another man from the wedding party, Mr Sarankumar Subramaniam, 22, shouted at the attackers, Sajid slashed him in the head.

The two assailants chased Mr Praveen and slashed his upper torso and hands multiple times. They also kicked him.

Sajid’s accomplice also wanted to slash the groom when the man asked them why they had to ruin his wedding.

Sajid pulled his friend back as he did not have any dispute with the groom and did not want to harm him.

The offenders later disposed of the knives in a rubbish chute and took a private-hire vehicle to a mutual friend’s home in Woodlands.

The mutual friend then gave Sajid a change of clothes, so he could avoid police detection.

Meanwhile, the two victims were taken to the National University Hospital with multiple injuries.

Mr Praveen had wounds on his left shoulder, forehead, elbows and arms, and fractures in his left index finger, right elbow and left arm.

He had to undergo three operations and was given 118 days of hospitalisation leave.

Mr Sarankumar, who had a laceration on his scalp, was given 32 days of hospitalisation leave.

Videos of the attack went viral on social media, and Sajid and his accomplice surrendered to the police the next day.

Separately, Sajid’s friend admitted on Wednesday that he did not have a licence when he rode a motorcycle on at least four occasions between March 24 and April 7.

The friend was also caught speeding while riding the vehicle along Ayer Rajah Expressway, at 113kmh at around 3pm on April 3. The speed limit in the area is 90kmh.

On Wednesday, Deputy Public Prosecutor R. Arvindren urged the court to sentence him to at least 39 months’ jail, six strokes of the cane and a fine of at least $9,800.

He also asked for the offender to be disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for a year.

The DPP said that before the attack in Boon Lay, the offender had committed offences such as rioting, and was sent to a juvenile home.

He later breached certain conditions that were not disclosed in court, and had to serve an earlier stint in a reformative training centre.

Defence lawyer Vadi P.V.S.S. from Kalidass Law pleaded for the court to call for a reformative training suitability report.

He stressed that his client is a young man and that the crux of rehabilitation is the ability of the offender to reintegrate into society and turn away from a life of crime.

“We humbly submit for (him) to be at least given a fighting chance, now, considering his age, his personal circumstances and his current regretful and remorseful mindset,” said the lawyer.

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