SINGAPORE: A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to 11 months’ jail for acting as a lookout while his accomplice slashed an elderly taxi driver at Lim Chu Kang cemetery in an attempted late-night robbery.
Tan Jing Zi, together with Goh Tong Chien and Eng Wan Fong, had flagged down 58-year-old taxi driver Sazali Abdullah and directed him to take them to the Chinese cemetery at Lim Chu Kang Road at about midnight on May 14, 2015.
Speaking in Mandarin so that Mr Sazali would not understand, Goh told Tan and Eng to run out of the taxi when they reached their destination, and act as lookouts.
Tan and Eng did as planned, and Goh slashed Mr Sazali from behind with a chopper that was hidden in his bag. But Goh became scared at the amount of blood that had splattered inside the taxi and fled with Eng and Tan, throwing the chopper into a nearby drain along the way.
The trio were arrested about three hours later, after Mr Sazali called the police.
Tan's two other accomplices had been sentenced earlier. Goh was given 22 months' jail and three strokes of the cane while Eng was sentenced to 12 months in jail.
ACCUSED HAD PRIOR BRUSHES WITH THE LAW
Tan also pleaded guilty to a second, unrelated charge of shop theft, for stealing a Bluetooth headset and SD card from a Challenger outlet in May last year. Eng and Goh were also named in the theft charge, together with Tan’s then-girlfriend.
Tan’s lawyer had called for the court to sentence his client to probation, despite a probation report stating that it was not recommended in his case.
The 23-year-old has had brushes with the law since the age of 17, including theft, causing mischief by fire, belonging to a secret society and going house-to-house to collect money without a license.
He also had sex with “multiple girlfriends” who were underage. One of the girls had gotten pregnant and given birth to a child but Tan has refused to take responsibility for it, the court heard.
In sentencing Tan to 11 months’ jail, District Judge Low Wee Ping told Tan not to “travel down the unlawful or criminal path”. “This is the punishment for your past. After you have served (your sentence), spend the rest of your life making your father proud,” Judge Low told Tan.
For his part in the attempted robbery, Tan could have been jailed up to seven years, fined and caned.