SINGAPORE: An Institute of Technical Education student was on Wednesday (Nov 25) sentenced to 18 months' jail and six strokes of the cane for attacking a man with a bread knife on the school campus.
On Oct 16, Muhammad Zuhairie Adely Zulkifli, pleaded guilty to causing grievous hurt to his victim, part-time cook Ahmad Nurthaqif Sahed, who suffered multiple fractures as a result of the assault.
On Mar 10, Muhammad Zuhairie, 17, had retrieved a bread knife from his locker intending to scare his 18-year-old victim, but decided to slash the victim when the victim “tested his limits”.
The slasher and the victim had crossed swords three days before the attack. Muhammad Zuhairie had called the Ahmad Nurthaqif 's girlfriend “baby” when the slasher spotted the couple walking around Clarke Quay on Mar 7.
When the slasher spotted Ahmad Nurthqif on campus three days later on Mar 10, he again confronted the victim, who was there to meet his girlfriend, a student there.
After retrieving the bread knife, Muhammad Zuhairie attacked Ahmad Nurthaqif from behind, swinging the knife repeatedly at the victim’s face in front of more than 50 onlookers. Videos of the attack were posted on social media.
Muhammad Zuhairie fled after the attack, but was arrested later that day at his grandmother’s Ang Mo Kio flat.
Ahmad Nurthaqif was taken to National University Hospital, where he was found to have suffered from fractures of the left forearm and two fingers, and was given three months’ medical leave.
District Judge Mathew Joseph called the attack "bold and brazen", "senseless", a "serious and heinous crime" and "sickening".
"This court has seen many cases of youthful violence, but the nature and manner in which the attack was carried out is quite shocking for a 16-year-old," said Judge Mathew.
"The attack took place on the ITE campus. Students and teachers have a right to feel safe and secure in this school environment. You shattered this safe environment of peace and tranquility," he added.
As for Muhammad Zuhairie's second, unrelated charge of rioting, the judge said: "You have a clear proclivity for violence despite your young age. It's quite astonishing."
Muhammad Zuhairie's lawyer Rajan Nair had asked for reformative training but Judge Mathew he "could not agree" due to the nature of the attack. The judge also pointed out that the victim suffered multiple fractures and was given three months medical leave. Mr Nair intends to appeal against the sentence, on his client instructions.
Muhammad Zuhairie will avoid serving his sentence, pending the hearing of his appeal. A date has not yet been set for the hearing.