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Jail for cleaner who assaulted gardeners at Sentosa condo, returned with hammer after being fired

Jail for cleaner who assaulted gardeners at Sentosa condo, returned with hammer after being fired

Screengrab from Google Street View of the Cape Royale condominium in Sentosa Cove.

SINGAPORE: After a cleaner was fired for assaulting a gardener and his supervisor at a condominium on Sentosa, he returned with a hammer, saying he wanted to smash the gardener's face.

Nagarajan Abraham, 49, was given 12 weeks' jail on Monday (May 17) after pleading guilty to two charges of voluntarily causing hurt and two charges under the Protection from Harassment Act. Another three charges were considered in sentencing.

The court heard that Nagarajan was a cleaner at the Cape Royale condominium in Sentosa Cove.

At around 8.10am on Jan 30 this year he approached a 28-year-old Bangladeshi landscaping supervisor at the landscaping and cleaning storeroom of the condominium.

He shouted the victim's nationality, before saying: “I am Singaporean. I go jail, I can bring you go jail.”

He punched the victim on his neck before Nagarajan's cleaning supervisor told Nagarajan to leave the room.

About half an hour later, a 40-year-old Bangladeshi gardener went to the storeroom to retrieve equipment for his work. He saw Nagarajan arguing with the cleaning supervisor at the exit, and told Nagarajan to move out of the way, as he was blocking the way.

Nagarajan turned around and kicked the gardener's chest, before punching him thrice on his forehead and once on the side of his head.

After separating Nagarajan and the gardener, the cleaning supervisor locked Nagarajan inside the storeroom.

He was fired on Feb 1 for poor work performance and for assaulting the two men. He went back to the condominium on Feb 13 to look for his former supervisor after drinking six bottles of beer.

However, the 72-year-old security guard at the guard house recognised Nagarajan and did not let him in.

Nagarajan grew agitated and began shouting and gesticulating wildly, before retrieving a small hammer from his bag and saying he wanted to smash the victim's face.

He began shouting and scolding the Bangladeshi national for "causing him to lose his job", the court was told.

His former supervisor heard the commotion and went to the guard house to speak to him. She noticed that he smelled of alcohol and he told her: "You wait, wait, I got hammer."

He reached into his bag and shouted vulgarities in Hokkien, which alarmed the supervisor.

CURSED AT BUS DRIVER AFTER TAKING WRONG BUS

In an earlier incident on Sep 5, 2020, Nagarajan boarded a bus in Geylang. A few minutes later, he realised that he had taken the bus in the wrong direction and approached the bus driver to ask where he was going.

When told that the bus was headed towards Ghim Moh bus interchange, Nagarajan grew agitated. He began cursing at the bus driver, a 51-year-old Malaysian man. He was subsequently charged in court and remanded.

The prosecutor asked for at least 12 weeks' jail and a fine for Nagarajan, saying that he had previous convictions of causing hurt in 2017 and 2018.

"The accused has demonstrated that he is a recalcitrant offender who becomes violent for no apparent reason," he said.

Nagarajan, who was unrepresented, said he did not scold the victim's mothers, and that he had hurled vulgarities in Hokkien and Malay.

The judge asked him if he knew what the words meant, but Nagarajan said he used such words in the army and with his friends, and did not intend to scold the victims' mothers. However, he acknowledged that he had uttered those vulgarities. 

He said he was very sorry and remorseful and wanted to be released so he can continue paying for his flat. He said he was drunk on the second occasion as he had lost his job.

District Judge Marvin Bay told him that he had to control himself when he drank alcohol, as he knew his own tendency "to succumb to violence and offensive language" when intoxicated.

Source: CNA/ll(mi)

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