Dad bashed up, five-year-old son traumatised
Victim of ferocious assault can't recognise his own kids
The five-year-old boy took one look at his father, lying in a hospital bed with tubes coming out of his body, and ran out, traumatised.
That is how much general worker See Chien Hwa's physical appearance has changed since he was left lying a pool of blood after a ferocious attack by four youths.
The attack, which left him bedridden and brain damaged, took place near Block 201E, Tampines Street 21, at around 3.30am on March 6.
The public prosecutor told the court that Mr See needs to be changed and bathed by someone and he has to be fed through a tube.
He also has to breathe through a tube via an incision in the windpipe.
Mr See, 39, is warded at Bright Vision Hospital on Lorong Napiri off Yio Chu Kang Road.
Mohammad Noor Helmi Mohammed Herman, 19, a mover, was the last attacker to be sentenced.
Last Friday, he was jailed for eight years and eight months and ordered to receive six strokes of the cane and fined $1,500.
Mr See, who also has an eight-year-old daughter, is separated from his wife.
His estranged spouse, who wanted to be known only as Madam Goh, told The New Paper that Mr See had been a loving father before the assault.
She said: "I still care for him.
"He was a jovial, talkative man who loved playing with the kids. They adored him."
She said that the children miss their father and that when she took their son to the hospital to visit him, "he took one look and ran away crying, saying he wanted to go home".
"He was scared to see his own father like that, he said.
"He still asks about his father once in a while and I tell him, 'Papa is still in hospital'. But he doesn't know why."
"I fully understand why my son was scared. There were tubes everywhere on my husband," added Madam Goh.
"A doctor later told me that he will most likely end up bedridden and the chances of him returning to normal are extremely slim."
Madam Goh said she visits Mr See only about once a month as she is too busy working. She last visited him on Nov 18.
"He was so skinny. Even though he was conscious, he couldn't recognise anyone," she said.
"When I visited, he would just stare at the wall and not respond to anything.
"He couldn't move and could just blink. His condition has not improved."
Madam Goh also said that she does not intend to take her husband out of the hospital as there is no one at home to take care of him as she cannot afford a maid. She said she has problems making ends meet.
When Mr See was still working, he used to take home about $1,300 every month.
Since the assault, Madam Goh, who lives in a three-room flat in Sengkang, has been trying her best to make do.
She said she now works up to 15 hours a day, seven days a week, and takes home about $800 a month.
She has three sisters and a brother, but they do not help her financially as they have their own expenses to attend to.
Her parents are fishmongers and her 51-year-old mother pays about $400 monthly for items such as food and the children's school fees.
Madam Goh has not approached any Government agencies for financial assistance, saying she is not sure who she can go to.
She said she does not know what to do either.
Even though her life has been turned upside-down since the assault, Madam Goh said she has forgiven her husband's attackers.
"Everyone makes mistakes. I hope they will learn their lesson and repent."
For now, she has to put on a brave front for her children.
Madam Goh said: "My kids told me once, 'Mama, please don't die. Otherwise, who would take care of us?' I broke down when I heard this.
"I know that things are very difficult, but I must be strong for my kids."
I fully understand why my son was scared. There were tubes everywhere on my husband. A doctor later told me that he will most likely end up bedridden and chances of him returning to normal are extremely slim.
- Madam Goh
TEEN TERROR'S OTHER OFFENCES
Officers from the Central Narcotics Bureau first arrested Mohammad Noor Helmi Mohammed Herman, now 19, on June 24 last year.
He later admitted to consuming methamphetamine or Ice.
But this arrest did not stop the teen terror from committing more crimes.
Less than a month later, he stole a song bird and a cage, worth $1,000 in all, from outside a fourth-storey flat at Block 284, Yishun Avenue 6.
At the void deck of Block 160, Tampines Street 12, on Sept 19 last year, he accused a man, Mr Ooi Horng Jiat, 29, of staring at him. He threatened Mr Ooi with a knife.
Mr Ooi called the police after walking away.
Noor Helmi committed this offence at around 12.40am with three others - Dhimas Dhilla Rendyno, now 18, Ahmad Sholihin Mosa, now 23, and a 13-year-old boy who cannot be named due to his age.
About 20 minutes later, they went to Block 240, Tampines Street 21 - where Dhimas' ex-girlfriend lived - and gathered outside a fifth-storey flat.
They found items including a pram and a toy scooter and hurled them to the first storey.
They also urinated outside the unit.
Ahmad Sholihin was also part of the group that attacked Mr See Chien Hwa, 39, in March.
Dhimas was sentenced to 21 months' probation on Dec 5 last year.
Victim's face kicked repeatedly
District Judge Mathew Joseph said that this was one of the worst cases of grievous hurt that he had seen in court.
Mohammad Zaidi Zahad, 18, and Ahmad Sholihin Mosa, 23, who are jobless, student Muhammad Syazwandi Abdullah, 16, and mover Mohammad Noor Helmi Mohammed Herman, 19, attacked Mr See Chien Hwa.
All four have been dealt with in court.
According to Noor Helmi, his group had just left a convenience store at Block 201E, Tampines Street 23, at around 3.30am on March 6 when Mr See tapped his shoulder to ask for cigarettes.
Mr See then entered the store to buy a drink after the teen told him that he did not have any. When he came out, he slapped Noor Helmi on his back and did not reply when asked why he did that.
Instead, Mr See took a seat at a nearby bench with a male friend and started shouting at the group. This friend, who was not named in court papers, approached Noor Helmi to tell him that Mr See had his belongings stolen the previous day.
Mr See tried to walk towards the group, but his friend stopped him. After that, Mr See kicked a rubbish bin and returned to his seat.
Unhappy that the victim had shouted at them, Noor Helmi consumed 10 nitrazepam tablets, a type of sleeping pill. He also walked around the area and found a beer bottle, which he concealed under his shirt.
He asked his group if they wanted to assault Mr See and they agreed.
They went up to him and Noor Helmi smashed the bottle on their victim's head before kicking his upper body until he fell to the ground. He then kicked Mr See's face more than five times.
Sholihin, Zaidi and Syazwandi also punched and kicked their victim before fleeing.
But Noor Helmi was not done with Mr See yet and he returned to the scene. He repeatedly punched the victim then fled.
Muhammad Syazwandi Abdullah, 16
Mohammad Zaidi Zahad, 18
Ahmad Sholihin Mosa, 23
Four years and six months' jail and three strokes of the cane
Mohammad Noor Helmi Mohammed Herman, 19
Eight years and eight months' jail, six strokes of the cane and fined $1,500
Syazwandi and Zaidi will spend between 18 months and three years in a reformative training centre.
They will follow a strict regimen, which includes foot drills and counselling.