ITE student admits to slashing teen on campus

An Institute of Technical Education (ITE) student has admitted to slashing a teenager with a knife at ITE College West in March, in an attack sparked by a dispute over the victim's girlfriend.

Muhammad Zuhairie Adely Zulkifli's attack left his victim Ahmad Nurthaqif Sahed, 18, with cuts on his left forearm, left fingers, upper back, and behind his left ear. The victim also suffered fractures on his forearm and two fingers.

Yesterday, Muhammad Zuhairie pleaded guilty to voluntarily causing grievous hurt on March 10 at the ITE College West campus.

He first met Mr Ahmad Nurthaqif, a part-time cook, on March 7 at the Clarke Quay area. He shouted out to the victim's girlfriend Norhalizah Abdul Wahab, 17, calling her "baby". The duo conversed briefly.

When Ms Norhalizah went to the restroom later, Mr Ahmad Nurthaqif confronted the accused.

On March 10, the victim went to the ITE College West campus at 12.30pm to meet his girlfriend, a first-year student there. Upon spotting the victim, Muhammad Zuhairie confronted him and stated that he was unhappy with him.

The accused then went to his locker and retrieved a bread knife with a 35cm blade. He had obtained it from a member of the Rochor Way gang, which he used to belong to. Knife in hand, Muhammad Zuhairie charged at the victim, who was seated with his girlfriend at a large open space on campus known as the Piazza.

He slashed at the victim and continued swinging the knife even as the victim tried to run away. The attack was captured on video by a student. The victim managed to flee.

Muhammad Zuhairie fled as well, but was arrested later that day at his grandmother's house in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6.

Mr Ahmad Nurthaqif was admitted at the National University Hospital for two days and was given three months of medical leave.

The accused also pleaded guilty yesterday to a separate incident of rioting on April 20 last year.

Then aged 16, Muhammad Zuhairie and five other young people aged 14 to 16 punched and kicked a teenager, who suffered swelling on his left cheek and multiple bruises and abrasions all over his body.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kumaresan Gohulabalan sought a sentence of 18 months' jail and six strokes of the cane for both charges.

A third charge of the accused escaping from the Muhammadiyah Welfare Home on March 31 last year was taken into consideration.

He is remanded pending a pre-sentence, and a reformative training centre report. He is due back in court on Nov 5.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2015, with the headline 'ITE student admits to slashing teen on campus'. Print Edition | Subscribe