Man jailed and caned for assaulting car rental company owner over fee dispute

Man jailed and caned for assaulting car rental company owner over fee dispute
Singapore’s State Courts. (Yahoo file photo)

Two men punched and slashed the owner of a car rental company with a chopper over a fee dispute, leaving him with a permanently disfigured ear and other injuries.

For his part in the attack, odd-job labourer Lee John Kelvin, 38, pleaded guilty on Thursday (28 December) to voluntarily causing grievous hurt with common intention and was jailed 30 months and three weeks and given three strokes of the cane. He also admitted to one charge of causing hurt in a separate incident and one charge of theft.

The State Courts heard that the company owner, Ho Hee Yang, 26, leased a car to freelance worker Mohamad Afiq Mohamad Noor, 31, for a month starting from 23 November 2016. After Afiq defaulted on the weekly rental fee, Ho told him that he would have to return the car if he did not pay by 7pm on 3 December.

Using the GPS tracker installed in the car, Ho and a friend traced the vehicle to Mustafa Centre. Afiq, who was with Lee at the time, drove off when he saw Ho. He had concealed a chopper with him, and Lee was aware of it.

Ho alerted the police and gave chase in his car. Ho and his friend traced Afiq to 416B Fernvale Road.

As a result of the default, Ho collected the outstanding rental fee from Afiq’s guarantor, who was also at Fernvale Road. While Ho was speaking to the guarantor, Lee confronted him and began punching him. Afiq also joined the assault and slashed Ho’s arm with the chopper.

Ho tried to run away from the duo but they managed to catch up with him. Afiq then slashed Ho on his back with the chopper. Lee pulled Ho’s mouth open with both hands from behind and bit Ho’s left ear. He also snatched a gold chain that Ho was wearing.

Afiq also attacked Ho with the chopper again, slashing him on his knee and shin. Ho pleaded to be let off but the duo continued to attack him, kicking his head several times.

Ho then sought help from nearby police officers and was sent to hospital the same night. He was also hospitalised for 21 days due to his injuries.

Asking for a jail term of three years and caning to be imposed on Lee, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Si En said the case had multiple aggravating factors. Lee knew that Afiq had a chopper and he also started the fight, Tan added.

Lee’s other charge of causing hurt was for punching a taxi driver in the face during a confrontation last year.

Asking for leniency and a jail term of 25 months, Lee’s lawyer Ariel Tan said Lee was not the one who carried the weapon, and he did not use it on the victim. Lee is willing to go for counselling after his release, Tan added.

Afiq will be dealt with at a later date.

For voluntarily causing grievous hurt, Lee could have been jailed up to 10 years with a fine or caning.

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