SINGAPORE - During a session when they were abusing cough syrup and sleeping pills to get high, Angelo Ng Chek Kiang took up another man's suggestion that they rob a massage parlour as they needed money.
The pair eventually robbed one in Chinatown.
Ng, 42, was sentenced to a total of five years, five weeks and five days' jail and 12 strokes of the cane on Friday (July 29).
Apart from a robbery charge, which accounted for the bulk of the penalties, the Singaporean also pleaded guilty to supplying several health products illegally and consuming a controlled drug on March 23 last year.
Ng's accomplice in the robbery, Goh Soon Kim, was sentenced to four years and six months' jail and 12 strokes of the cane in court in April.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Koh Yi Wen said in court documents that Goh had suggested committing the robbery on Sept 24 last year. He thought if the massage parlour offered illegal sexual services, the staff there would not make a police report even after being robbed.
Goh called the massage parlour at the S Inn hostel, under the mistaken impression that the establishment offered illegal sexual services.
After masseuse Tang Ping told him where the parlour was, Ng and Goh went there with knives at about 2am.
On arrival, Goh threatened to hurt Ms Tang if she did not give them money.
Hearing the commotion, three other masseuses went to the front counter.
Goh told the masseuses he would hurt them if they did not give him money, but they told him that they did not have any. Goh then tried unsuccessfully to use his knife to open the lockers at the front counter.
Ng also pushed a table, which caused a drawer to fall and hit one of the masseuses - Ms Quan Xiu Zhen - on her right thigh, causing a small bruise.
Said DPP: "Quan got angry and walked towards the main door, but the accused pulled her back inside the massage parlour and ended up injuring his left hand on the main door. Agitated by the injury to his hand, the accused then slapped Quan once on her face."
Goh continued to demand money from the four women and, fearing injury, two of them opened the lockers and handed over about $950 in cash.
After the two men left the massage parlour, Ms Tang called the police and lodged a report at 3.10am.
Goh was arrested later that day at about 10.15am and Ng was arrested two days later on Sept 26.
During investigations, Ng admitted to receiving more than $100 from Goh, which he spent.
In his written sentencing submissions, DPP Koh said that in 2000, Ng had been sentenced to jail for 40 months and 12 strokes of the cane for robbery.
In light of his past conviction and the fact that there was deliberation and premeditation and the use of a weapon and force in the recent case, the prosecutor had asked for a jail sentence of four to five years' and 12 strokes for Ng for his role in the robbery.
For committing robbery between 7pm and 7am, Ng faced a minimum of three years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane, with a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.
Correction note: An earlier version of this article said the sentence Ng received was five years, five months and five days. It should have been five years, five weeks and five days. We are sorry for the error.