Man found guilty of murdering waitress by throwing her over parapet in dispute over phone repairs

Man found guilty of murdering waitress by throwing her over parapet in dispute over phone repairs

block 146a toa payoh
Ms Atika Dolkifli was murdered on Aug 31, 2015 at Block 146A Toa Payoh Lorong 2. (Screengrab: Google Street View)

SINGAPORE: A 28-year-old man was found guilty of murder on Tuesday (May 21) for throwing a woman over a parapet at a multi-storey car park.

Syed Maffi Hassan, who had claimed trial, faces the death penalty or life imprisonment and caning.

The murder took place on Aug 31, 2015. Syed Maffi threw Pizza Hut waitress Atika Dolkifli over the railing at Deck 5A of the car park at Block 146A Toa Payoh Lorong 2, after a dispute over the cost of repairing a phone. 

The two got to know each other on Facebook in early 2013 and reconnected in May 2015, the court heard. 

Ms Atika, 23, had lent Syed Maffi a green iPhone 5C that was her spare phone, as he did not have a mobile phone.

However, the phone was faulty and Syed Maffi sent it for repairs, which cost him about S$125 in total.

He told Ms Atika that the repairs cost S$300, and tried to get the money from her family but did not manage to.

On the day of the murder, Syed Maffi met Ms Atika at the car park at about 9.50pm after her shift had ended.

They went to the roof garden at the top deck, where they began arguing over the cost of repairing the phone, which he demanded from her.

Syed Maffi pushed Ms Atika on her chest and she fell backwards off the edge of a flight of stairs, hitting the back of her head on the steps, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Bhajanvir Singh.

According to court documents, Syed Maffi then dragged Ms Atika by her armpits down the remaining steps to Deck 5A.

She was semi-conscious and groaning, the court heard, and he grabbed her by her collar and trousers and threw her over the railing of the parapet.

HE TOOK HER PHONE, THREW AWAY SOME BELONGINGS

Ms Atika landed head first on the landing at Deck 3A.

Syed Maffi picked up some of her belongings, including her right shoe and keys, and threw them in a drain.

He also took her iPhone 6 Plus from her handbag before leaving it in a drain near a bus stop and went home, where he threw away the SIM card.

Ms Atika's father made a police report a day later, saying that his daughter had not returned home.

The day that police began investigations, Syed Maffi told Ms Atika's brother that he last saw her at a multi-purpose hall in Toa Payoh, claiming that she walked there by herself "and never returned". 

Three days after the murder, a passer-by discovered Ms Atika's decomposing body at the third floor of the car park.

An autopsy found that she had lacerations on her scalp and head, with the cause of death being consistent with a head injury.

Closed-circuit television camera footage showed Syed Maffi and Ms Atika entering the car park together before Syed Maffi left alone, carrying her handbag about 40 minutes later.

A psychiatric assessment of Syed Maffi found no psychiatric disorder or illness in him.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

Source: CNA/ll(gs)

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