Ang Eng Beng v PP

Judgment Date25 September 1990
Date25 September 1990
Docket NumberCriminal Motion No 21 of 1989
CourtCourt of Appeal (Singapore)
Ang Eng Beng
Public Prosecutor

[1990] SGCA 17

Wee Chong Jin CJ


Lai Kew Chai J


Yong Pung How J

Criminal Motion No 21 of 1989

Court of Appeal

Criminal Law–Complicity–Common intention–Applicant charged together with others for being jointly concerned in robbery with hurt–Hurt caused by other participant in the robbery–Whether necessary to prove common intention to commit robbery between applicant and party causing hurt–Sections 34, 37 and 394 Penal Code (Cap 224, 1985 Rev Ed)

The Court of Appeal was asked to determine the following question of law: whether in the case of a person charged with being jointly concerned with another person in committing robbery under s 394 of the Penal Code (Cap 224, 1985 Rev Ed) (“the Code”), such other person having caused hurt while committing the robbery, it was incumbent on the Prosecution to prove the existence of a common intention to commit the robbery as between the person so charged and the person who caused the hurt.

Held, answering the question in the negative:

(1) A reading of s 394 of the Code will show that it deals with the group liability of robbers one or more of whose number causes or cause hurt. Under it, the guilty act of a robber who causes hurt in committing the robbery is imported to all the others who are “jointly concerned” in the commission of the robbery. Such hurt must be caused voluntarily for the end of the robbery. The section obviously refers to two distinct classes of persons: (a) those who cause the hurt, and (b) those who do not, but are “jointly concerned” in the commission of the robbery: at [7].

(2) Section 37 of the Code reads: “When an offence is committed by means of several acts, whoever intentionally co-operates in the commission of that offence by doing any one of those acts, either singly or jointly with any other person, commits that offence.” Such a person made liable under s 37 of the Code is a person “jointly concerned” with the commission of robbery if it is an offence under s 394 of the Code: at [8].

(3) It is not necessary for the Prosecution to prove a common intention (within the meaning of s 34 of the Code) between the person who caused the hurt and anyone present to commit the robbery before the latter can be convicted of an offence under s 394. Section 394 does not in terms provide that all the robbers must have committed the robbery “in furtherance of the common intention of all”: at [7] and [12].

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2 cases
  • Panya Martmontree and Others v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 7 August 1995
    ... ... This by definition constitutes gang robbery (see ss 390 and 391 of the Penal Code). Since two security guards were killed s 396 of the Penal Code comes into operation. Common intention is not an issue. The law on this subject is well settled, see Ang Eng Beng v PP and the cases referred to therein. Conjointly committing gang robbery is the issue. The statements admit all the elements of s 396 of the Penal Code and hence they are confessions within the meaning of s 17(2) of the Evidence Act. We have no doubt that following the decision of this court in ... ...
  • Prasong Bunsom and Others v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 21 August 1995
    ... ... A number of statements by him were recorded which the prosecution sought to tender in evidence, namely, a cautioned statement under s 122(6) of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 68) recorded by Inspector T Maniam on 31 March 1994, and three statements made to Sergeant Goh Kok Beng (Sgt Goh), namely, a s 121 long statement made on 6 April 1994, an oral statement made on 8 April 1994 and a further s 121 statement made at the Queenstown Remand Prison on 17 August 1994. The second appellant was arrested on 23 May 1994 and the third appellant was arrested on 22 July 1994. Again, ... ...

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