Public Prosecutor v Ithinin Bin Kamari

JurisdictionSingapore
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgeAmarjeet Singh JC
Judgment Date12 February 1992
Neutral Citation[1992] SGHC 24
Citation[1992] SGHC 24
Published date18 September 2012
Plaintiff CounselBala Reddy with David Khoo (Attorney General's Chambers)
Defendant CounselR Yogendran (Yogen & Partners)

JUDGMENT:

delivered by Amarjeet Singh JC...

GROUNDS OF DECISION

The accused was charged and tried on two counts of murder as follows:

1st CHARGE That you, ITHININ BIN KAMARI on or about the 24th day of May, 1989, at about 8.15am, at the second storey corridor of Blk 27, Tanglin Halt Road, Singapore, committed murder by causing the death of one Mohd Said Bin Abdul Majid, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under section 302 of the Penal Code (Chapter 224).

2nd CHARGE on or about the 24th day of May, 1989, at about 8.15am, at the second storey corridor of Blk 27, Tanglin Halt Road, Singapore, committed murder by causing the death of one Mohd Johar bin Selamat, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under section 302 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.

The Accused pleaded guilty to the charges. The court in exercising its discretion under s 187(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code Ch 68 rejected the pleas in view of the gravity of the charges and extreme punishment provided in respect thereof and directed the prosecution to proceed to prove its case. The prosecution's case was that on the morning of 24 May 1989 shortly after 8.00am, Mohd. Said Bin Abdul Majid, (Said), the First deceased, and Mohd. Johar Bin Selamat also known as "Johar" or "Joe" (Johar), the Second deceased, arrived at the corridor outside apartment #02-80, Blk 27 Tanglin Halt Road, a one room one hall unit in which one Safardeen Bin Hussein, (Safardeen), PW3, lived with his grandfather Ahmad Bin Saibon (PS 10). Said and Johar were accompanied by Zainuddin Bin Saini, (Zainuddin), PW 2, who had recently met Safardeen. Zainuddin had been requested that morning by Johar to walk them to the apartment in question as he did not know its location so as to meet a friend of Safardeen over some problem. When specifically asked about the purpose of the visit, Johar had merely informed Zainuddin that he wanted to see Safardeen about his walkman cassette which the Accused had taken.

On arriving, Said knocked on the door of the apartment and upon Safardeen opening it, Said asked to meet Safardeen's friend whereupon Ithinin Bin Kamari, also known as "Awang", (the Accused), clad in a sarong, but otherwise bare bodied, came out and spoke to Johar.

Zainuddin testified that when the Accused questioned Johar as to what he wanted, Johar asked the Accused in a normal tone as to who had taken the belongings of one Zanariah Bte Aziz also known as "Ana" or "Peng", (Zanariah). The Accused denied taking the belongings. Zanariah, as the evidence later unfolded, had been Johar's girlfriend and had slept on a few occasions with him but had in the last month or so become the girlfriend of the Accused and was going out with the Accused with the two of them spending occasional nights in Safardeen's grandfather's apartment. Zainuddin went on to testify that the Accused was unhappy. He challenged Johar to a one to one fight. Zainuddin confirmed the challenge by the Accused in no uncertain terms in cross-examination when he said: "All I know was at the end of the conversation, Accused challenged Johar to a fight". The Accused then went back into the apartment.

At about this point, Zanariah who had borrowed the Walkman cassette the previous day from Johar but had not returned it the same day as promised, came out of the apartment and saw the Accused looking angry. She spoke briefly to Johar and asked him why he had come to the apartment. She got no response. He did not talk about the Walkman. Zanariah did not specifically know why Johar had come although her own suspicion was that he may have been jealous. She then followed the Accused into the apartment and saw him holding a knife (P70, a single edged kitchen knife blade with a black handle). Although she was frightened, she managed to snatch away the knife from the Accused and threw it on the sofa in the living room. The Accused had not protested when Zanariah had taken away the knife from him.

She then pacified the Accused with the help of Safardeen urging the Accused to speak to the other parties peacefully. Safardeen stated in cross- examination that he believed when he talked to the Accused, he succeeded in calming him down.

Soon afterwards, the Accused emerged from the flat a second time. Zanariah who had followed him, heard Said say, "Since you have challenged me, get dressed and come out". Zainuddin who was then standing to the right of the door of the apartment in the corridor, stated that the Accused went back into the apartment after coming out. He heard Said utter certain abusive words after the Accused had re-entered the apartment: "Puki Mak", (Your mother's cunt) why do you take so long, you don't have to take a bath, you can come out". He said that Said had also called the Accused "Kurang Ajar" (ill-mannered person). It was the prosecution's case that no other abusive words were used.

The Accused was seen emerging from the apartment for a third time, this time holding a knife (P70). Zainuddin testified that the Accused went and stabbed Said. He saw the Accused thrust his knife at Said thrice. Said fell on the floor. Johar then grabbed the Accused from the back and after a struggle, the Accused freed himself and also stabbed Johar who slumped to the ground in a seated position. Zainuddin said that on seeing this, he fled from the scene.

Zanariah had also witnessed the stabbings of both Said and Johar. She tried to stop the Accused and in trying to snatch the knife away from the Accused, she was injured on the finger by a cut from the knife.

Both Zainuddin and Zanariah described the stabbings of both deceased as forward waist/chest level thrusting actions with the knife.

That the Accused stabbed Said and Johar and that Said and Johar were unarmed, was not in issue.

Safardeen who was in the apartment saw the Accused re-entering the apartment with blood on his sarong. Immediately, the Accused reached out for his clothes and ran out. Zanariah testified similarly adding that as the Accused left with his clothes he took the knife along with him.

An Ambulance Officer (PS 10) who arrived at the scene shortly afterwards, pronounced both deceased dead at between 8.40am - 8.42am.

Dr Clarence Tan (Dr Tan), (PW4), a Forensic Pathologist gave evidence in respect of the nature and extent of the injuries suffered by Said and Johar and in respect of his findings.

He found three injuries on the body of Said two of which were stab wounds in the chest region whilst the third injury was a defensive oblique incised wound on his left mid-forearm. His finding was that the fatal wound was the First Stab Wound which had penetrated through the left lower anterior chest wall into the heart and lungs resulting in death from massive haemorrhage. The total depth of the track of the wound was estimated to be within 10 to 13 cm. Moderate to severe force was used to cause the wound in question. The Second Stab Wound had penetrated through the left lateral chest wall incised the spleen and entered the pancreas. The depth of this wound was established at between 8 to 10 cm.

In respect of Johar, Dr Tan found only a single stab wound at the left lower anterior chest wall which had penetrated the heart and lung resulting in death from massive haemorrhage. It was the fatal wound. He estimated the depth of the wound to be within the range of 9 to 12 cm. It was Dr Tan's evidence that the First and Second Stab Wounds suffered by Said and the single stab wound inflicted on Johar were all "penetrating wounds" and for such wounds to be inflicted, a definite inward thrusting motion of the weapon into "the body" was required. By definite he meant a "deliberate muscular movement". Dr Tan testified that the wounds on both Said and Johar were consistent with those having been caused by the knife (P70).

Finally, it was Dr Tan's opinion that in respect of the fatal wound on Said, he would be incapacitated within about a minute. This wound would be sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death.

As regards the fatal wound on Johar, it bore a degree of similarity to the fatal wound inflicted on Said in respect of its location. He would also be incapacitated within a minute and death would result within three minutes. The wound on Johar was likewise also sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death.

The prosecution's case was that the Accused intended to stab both Said and Johar in the chest region, a vital part of the body.

At the close of the prosecution case, we were satisfied that there was credible evidence proving...

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