SINGAPORE: Two men were sentenced to five years' jail and six strokes of the cane each on Thursday (Oct 19) for fatally assaulting a 34-year-old Frenchman at Orchard Towers in April last year.
Radin Abdullah Syaafii Radin Badruddin and Muhammad Daniel Abdul Jalil, both 24, were each convicted of one count of voluntarily causing grievous hurt to Navarro Dorian Regis, who died in May 2016 after spending about six weeks in a coma.
Both men were initially charged with murder.
Daniel was also sentenced to an additional three months' jail for a second charge of voluntarily causing grievous hurt to Mr Navarro’s friend, Goudal Pierre Eric Jules Jean.
Mr Goudal had been trying to stop the assault and was punched by Daniel, resulting in a nose fracture.
On Apr 1, 2016, Daniel, Radin and three other friends were at a club in Orchard Towers. At about 5.30am, two of their friends left the club without telling Daniel, upsetting him.
Daniel then went to confront them on the ground floor of the building while Radin and another friend followed him.
Things escalated when Daniel and one of his friends got into a fight, during which Daniel's hat was knocked off his head. The hat fell at Mr Navarro's feet, who was making his way out of Orchard Towers with his friends at the time.
When Radin went to pick the hat up, Mr Navarro threw it back towards Daniel's group.
This offended Radin as he felt Mr Navarro was mocking him. He then went to confront Mr Navarro and his friends, during which Mr Goudal apologised for the gesture, but Radin insisted that Mr Navarro apologise too.
Daniel later joined Radin, and both men punched and kicked Mr Navarro. Daniel also delivered a couple of blows to Mr Navarro's head and a flying kick to Mr Navarro's stomach.
Eventually a crowd gathered and the police were called.
Mr Navarro was taken to hospital at about 7.25am and was assessed to be in a stable condition. However, he then took a turn for the worse at about 10.30am and fell into a coma.
Despite an emergency operation to ease swelling in his brain, Mr Navarro remained comatose until his death on May 16, 2016.
A report by Dr Marian Wang, a senior consultant forensic pathologist, stated that the "substantive cause" of the victim's death was traumatic head injury, with pneumonia as a contributory cause.
ATTACKS "OUT OF PROPORTION"
District Judge Kenneth Yap told the duo that their actions "deprived a man of his life (when) he did not ask for it". He added that Mr Navarro's throwing of the hat was not provocative and that their reactions were "out of proportion". He also called the attacks "vicious".
The prosecution had asked for a five-year sentence for the two men and a sentence of at least three months for Daniel's second charge.
The prosecution also added that the incident was a "tragic case of senseless violence by the two accused persons", adding that the duo's attacks were "persistent" and didn't stop even when Mr Navarro fell onto the road with cars on the adjacent lane.
But Daniel's lawyer, in response, said the accused was "truly remorseful" and asked for "a fair and appropriate sentence".
Radin, who was unrepresented, told the court that there was no prior intention in hurting Mr Navarro and that it was done in the spur of the moment. He also said he was remorseful for his actions.
The court also heard that Radin used to be a footballer. According to Radin's older brother, who declined to be named, Radin previously played for the National Football Academy and Singapore Armed Forces Football Club, now known as Warriors Football Club.
Learning that Radin was a footballer, District Judge Kenneth Yap told him "you shouldn't go around kicking people" if he were a footballer.
Daniel's three-month sentence will run consecutively with his five-year sentence and will be backdated to May 24 last year. Radin's will be backdated to Apr 9 last year.
For causing grievous hurt, both could have faced up to 10 years’ jail and a fine or caning.