Public Prosecutor v Muhammad Fadzli Bin Abdul Majid

JudgeSoh Tze Bian
Judgment Date08 July 2009
Neutral Citation[2009] SGDC 217
CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
Published date04 August 2009
Plaintiff CounselDeputy Public Prosecutor, Andrew Tan and Assistant Public Prosecutor, Marianne Lee
Defendant CounselAccused in Person
Citation[2009] SGDC 217

8 July 2009

District Judge Soh Tze Bian:

The Charge and Sentence

1 This is an appeal against sentence filed by the accused on 7 July 2009. The accused, male 18 years of age, pleaded guilty before me to a charge in DAC 17175/2009 that he, on the 19th day of March 2009, at or about 12.50 a.m., at the vicinity of Blk 226E Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Singapore, together with Muhammad Ridzuan Bin Abdul Majid, (male/19 years old) and one male Malay known only as 'Ke Kel', and in the furtherance of the common intention of all of them, did commit robbery of one maroon colour crocodile skin wallet valued at about S$500/- containing : (i) one gold abacus valued at about S$60/-; (ii) cash of about S$400/-; (iii) one Singapore NRIC bearing the name of Lim Lai Whay; (iv) one POSB ATM card; (v) one Singapore driving license bearing the name of Lim Lai Whay; (vi) one NTUC union member card; (vii) one piece of brand new S$20 dollar note; and (viii) four pieces of brand new S$2/- dollar note, with the total value of the aforesaid items at $988.00, in the possession of one Lim Lai Whay (Male/55 years old). This was an offence punishable under section 392 read with section 34 of the Penal Code (Cap 224) with imprisonment for a minimum term of 3 years and up to a maximum term of 14 years plus mandatory caning of not less than 12 strokes.

2 sentenced the accused to undergo reformative training at a reformative training centre which would be for a period of not less than 18 months and not more than 3 years. The accused is presently serving his sentence.

Statement of Facts

3 The statement of facts, admitted by the accused without qualification, read as follows:

“ The victim is Lim Lai Whay, male/55 years old.

2. The accused persons are:-

Bl) Muhammad Ridzuan bin Abdul Majid, male 19 years old.

B2) Muhammad Fazli bin Abdul Majid, male 18 years old.

3. The accomplice is a male Malay known only as ‘Ke Kel’

4. On 19 March 2009 at about 1.06 a.m., the victim called '999' and informed the following message "THERE ARE 8-10 MALAYS, MIXED GROUP, WHO ROBBED ME. THEY ARE HERE NOW. FASTER COME. THEY PUNCHED ME AND GRABBED MY THINGS". Location of the incident is at No 6 Ang Mo Kio Street 2, beside Ang Mo Kio Secondary School, Singapore 569362.

5. Investigations revealed that on 19 March 2009 at about 12.50 a.m., the victim was about to deposit his daily earnings as a taxi driver at the POSB cash deposit machine located at Blk 226F Ang Mo Kio Street 22. When he arrived at the POSB machine, he noted that there the accused persons and accomplice were loitering around the area. The victim did not think much of it and thereafter went over to the cash deposit machine and was about to deposit his daily earnings but noted that the machine was not working; as such the victim continued to keep his daily earnings with him.

6. The victim thereafter went over to the AXS machine that was beside the cash deposit machine and paid his parking fine that he had incurred previously on another date. After he had made payment, the victim left the place and was walking at the rear of Blk 226E Ang Mo Kio Street 22 when suddenly the accused Bl, B2 and the accomplice came from the victim's rear and grabbed his right and left hand and thereafter the accomplice gave the victim a punch on his chest and mouth area. After which the accomplice took the victim's wallet and all three of them ran away from the location. As a result of the assault, the victim was groggy and he had two of his tooth fall out along with his lower denture.

7. As he regained his composure, the victim gave chase after Bl, B2 and the accomplice. The victim chased them towards the vicinity of Blk 217 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 but eventually lost sight of them. While chasing them, the victim also called the police at the same time and informed the police of what had happened.

8. Subsequently the police also arrived and the victim related the details of the incident to the police officers. The victim also informed that he was robbed of the following items:

a) One maroon colour crocodile skin wallet valued at about S$500/- containing;

b) One gold abacus valued at about S$60/-,

c) Cash of about S$400/-,

d) One Singapore NRIC bearing the name of Lim Lai Whay,

e) One POSB ATM card,

f) One Singapore driving license bearing the name of Lim Lai Whay,

g) One NTUC union member card,

h) One piece of brand new S$20 dollar note, &

i) Four pieces of brand new S$2/- dollar note.

9. Through follow-up investigations, the identities of the accused Bl and B2 were established and they were eventually arrested by the police on 19 March 2009. Investigations further revealed that on 19 March 2009 at about 12.50 a.m., the accused Bl and B2 along with the accomplice noted that the victim was about to deposit money at the cash deposit machine located at Blk 226F Ang Mo Kio Street 22. The three of them then confronted the victim and thereafter restrained him while they relieved him of his personal belongings and after doing so, all three of them fled the scene.

10. Bl, B2 and the accomplice then shared the loot amongst themselves and thereafter Bl and B2 took a taxi back to Blk 37 Circuit Road where they used the money for their own personal expenses. Upon their arrest, Bl and B2 admitted to the commission of the offence and were charged in court accordingly.

11. The accomplice is still at large. Efforts to recover the victim's wallet containing his personal items proved futile. (emphasis mine)


4 The accused had in his oral mitigation pleaded for leniency. He is waiting for national service enlistment and is staying with his family. He urged the Court to give him a last chance and place him on probation.

Prosecution’s submission

5 The prosecution urged the Court to call for a report on the accused’s physical and mental condition and his suitability for reformative training and to sentence the accused to reformative training for both specific and general deterrence because the victim was a taxi-driver aged 55 years who was robbed of his daily earnings which were not recovered and had also lost 2 teeth. The prosecution submitted that public interest requires that a strong message must be sent to young offenders that such a robbery offence will not be condoned.

Pre-sentence reports

6 In the determination of an appropriate sentence for the accused, I considered the accused’s mitigation which pleaded for leniency. I also considered the prosecution’s submission to call for a report on the accused’s physical and mental condition and his suitability for reformative training. As the dominant consideration in sentencing youthful offenders is rehabilitation, I decided to call for pre-sentence reports on the accused to determine his suitability for probation and reformative training.

Probation report

7 Although the probation report had recommended probation for the accused, I noted the following specific and pertinent facts and observations made by the Probation Officer in the probation report (emphasis in bold below are mine):

(i) The accused was under the influence of "power pills" when he committed the offence. He had substance abuse problems as he consumed these pills which he either bought or received free from his friends and attributed his actions to the consumption of these pills.

(ii) The accused admitted to accepting $100 from his accomplice ‘Keke’ which he shared with the co-accused (B1) who was his brother.

(iii) The accused’s parents were divorced in 1999 and he is placed under his mother’s custody. He lives with his mother and step-father. The mother is his main disciplinarian but she is overwhelmed with having to look after her younger children and did not regulate his late nights.

(iv) The accused reported that in March 2004, he was arrested for fraudulent possession of property and in May 2008 he stole ice-cream from a provision shop and was warned by the police.

(v) The accused was referred to attending a Guidance Programme theft related offence from 13 Sep 2004 to 12 June 2005 conducted by Care Corner Family Services Centre (Admiralty) and attended all counselling sessions (except a camp activity) with satisfactory progress but breached time-restriction sometimes. His parents were not supportive and they did not attend counselling sessions citing work and family commitments.

(vi) The accused's lack of discernment with regard to his peers, substance abuse and his poor consequential thinking skills led to his involvement in this offence. He failed to learn from his previous encounters with the law and continued to expose himself to risky situations. He lacked the ability to be discerning when making friends and when good decisions were called for. This, together with a lack of direction and the absence of timely parental intervention and guidance contributed to his risk. He needs firm guidance and clear boundaries to help him steer clear of wrong company and to change his lifestyle. He will benefit from strengthening his decision-making and social skills to help make healthy choices in life.

(vii) Aside from the risk factors evident from his offending behaviour, the social investigation shows that the accused’s family's circumstance has not been conducive to helping him follow a more structured lifestyle. His parents' lax supervision and failure to take pro-active active steps were also contributing factors. For probation to be effective the parents need to step up supervision of the accused and improve their communication with him. His brother, Muhammad Faizal Bin Abdul (male/21 years) is currently in prison while another brother (B1) Muhammad Ridzuan bin Abdul Majid (male/19 years old) was his co-accused in the current offence.

Reformative training report

8 The reformative training report prepared by a Prisons Counsellor had certified the accused to be medically and physically fit to undergo reformative training and stated that the accused’ s treatment needs could be met through specialized treatment...

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