Technician gets jail for being member of unlawful assembly

Justin Pang Yew Teck, with six others, had escorted the victim to Lorong 14 Geylang, where they pushed him to the ground, and punched and kicked him.
Justin Pang Yew Teck, with six others, had escorted the victim to Lorong 14 Geylang, where they pushed him to the ground, and punched and kicked him.SCREENGRAB: GOOGLE MAPS

SINGAPORE - Seven men ganged up to assault a gambler after he had a heated exchange with one of them, a district court heard.

Justin Pang Yew Teck, 24, a technician, admitted to being a member of an unlawful assembly whose common object was to cause hurt to Mr Wei Zhaode, 47, at about 3am along Lorong 14 Geylang on Sept 9, 2016.

He was sentenced to six weeks' jail for this. He was given another two weeks' jail and fined $20,000 for promoting a game of chance at the back lane between Lorong 14 Geylang and Lorong 16 Geylang on June 4, 2017.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Shi said investigations showed that Mr Wei went to the back lane of Lorong 16 Geylang to gamble on Sept 8, 2016 and lost all his money amounting to $2,500.

While he was gambling, there was a heated exchange of words between Lee Kim Boon, 47, and the victim.

Pang and the co-accused, including Lee, were unhappy about what had happened and decided to confront the victim.

They escorted him to Lorong 14 Geylang where the victim was pushed to the ground, punched and kicked.

Pang admitted to punching the victim on the right shoulder and using his left leg to step on the victim's body at least once. All seven left the scene, with the victim still lying on the ground.

The victim subsequently got up and called the police. He suffered multiple contusions and was given three days' medical leave.

On June 4, 2017, a team of police officers was on anti-crime patrol in Geylang when they saw a group playing a game of chance called See Gor Lak, using cash as stakes.

Pang was seen placing bets and calling out to passers-by to place bets.

He was arrested soon after.

In passing sentence, District Judge Marvin Bay told Pang that he had not only relieved the victim of a large sum of money after inducing him into  engaging in illegal gambling activities, he had compounded this by confronting the victim subsequently, forcibly escorting him to another location, and assaulting him with a pack of other youths.

“It should be clear that such acts of rampant and unrestrained hooliganism cannot, and will not, be tolerated in modern-day Singapore. There is a need to send a clear and plain message to deter like-minded youths from organising illegal gambling activities; and then forcing their will on hapless participants who have expressed unhappiness after having been drained of their cash,’’ he said. 

He allowed Pang to start his sentence on Nov 3.

Pang, who is the second man to be dealt with, could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for being part of an unlawful assembly.

The maximum penalty for the gaming offence is a $200,000 fine and five years' jail.

The case against Lee and four others is pending.