Former prison inmate killed for being a 'hantu'
Man jailed 12 years for fatally stabbing former prison mate in coffee shop brawl
When he saw a man he knew back in prison drinking with others in a Geylang coffee shop, he accused the man of being a "hantu".
Hantu is Malay for ghost, but is also prison slang for someone who is untrustworthy and an informer.
Odd-job labourer Jamsari Yusof (inset), 51, was angry with Mr Gunasekaran Rengasamy, 43, for reporting him to a supervisor in Changi Prison.
When Mr Gunasekaran, who was jobless, denied the allegations, Jamsari became angier and a fight broke out.
During the altercation, Jamsari fatally stabbed Mr Gunasekaran on his face, neck and chest with a foldable knife.
Jamsari was jailed for 12 years yesterday after pleading guilty to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The court was told that Mr Gunasekaran and a friend, Mr Julius Pereira, 58, went to a coffee shop at Geylang Road at about 2am on Feb 13, 2012..
They joined three men, Redzuan Pupon, 40, Terrence Goh Chye Huat, 45, and Kung Kwai Cheong, 55, who were drinking at a table.
When Jamsari was walking past, he saw Mr Gunasekaran and confronted him.
It was the first time he had seen Mr Gunasekaran since their release from prison.
After helping himself to some beer on the table, he accused Mr Gunasekaran of being a snitch and the situation soon turned violent as Redzuan and Goh joined Jamsari in assaulting Mr Gunasekaran.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Puspha S. said: "It is both shocking and sad that the very people whom (Mr Gunasekaran) was sharing a table with and drinking together turned against him once (Jamsari) entered the scene."
Jamsari's lawyer, Mr Mohamed Muzammil Mohamed, said his client knew Redzuan, Goh and Kung as they occasionally met at Geylang coffee shops.
The attack was captured by nearby security cameras and two clips of the incident were played in court yesterday.
In the footage, Jamsari, Redzuan and Goh can be seen hitting and kicking their victim, who fell to the ground.
Fearing for his safety, Mr Pereira fled the scene.
During the fight, Kung took a multi-tool from his bag, unfolded a knife blade from the handle and passed it to Jamsari, who stabbed Mr Gunasekaran.
DPP Puspha said Jamsari returned the weapon to Kung before the assailants fled.
Police Senior Staff Sergeant Ling Chye Hock and his colleagues, who were doing their rounds in the area, saw Mr Gunasekaran staggering at Geylang Road.
They attended to him and alerted the Bedok Police Division operations room at about 2.20am.
An ambulance took Mr Gunasekaran to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he died about two hours later.
DPP Puspha said Jamsari, Goh, Redzuan and Kung were arrested lthat day.
She told Justice Chan Seng Onn yesterday that Mr Gunasekaran suffered 18 injuries, including a partially collapsed right lung and a stab wound on his chest.
The stab wound was about 13cm deep.
Calling for at least a 12-year jail sentence, DPP Puspha said that Jamsari had committed the offence in full view of the public and added that Jamsari's "audacious and uncontrollable attack" on Mr Gunasekaran was "particularly deplorable".
Mr Mohamed Muzammil pleaded for a jail sentence of six to seven years.
He said his client was intoxicated at the time and did not have prior intention to hurt or kill Mr Gunasekaran.
After viewing the security-camera footage, Justice Chan said that the way Jamsari had kicked his victim showed that alcohol had not affected his aim.
"The kicks didn't miss their mark," he said.
Redzuan, Goh and Kung have been jailed for between 15 months and four years for their roles in the attack.
For culpable homicide not amounting to murder, Jamsari could have been jailed for life or up to 20 years and fined.
He escaped caning because he is above 50 years old.