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16 months’ jail for secret society member who hit wife, stole S$75,000

SINGAPORE — A 46-year-old security guard, who threatened his supervisor saying that he was a secret society member, was jailed 16 months on Tuesday (March 13) for various criminal activities. The phone conversation, which was put up on YouTube, went viral on social media last August.

SINGAPORE — A 46-year-old security guard, who threatened his supervisor saying that he was a secret society member, was jailed 16 months on Tuesday (March 13) for various criminal activities. The phone conversation, which was put up on YouTube, went viral on social media last August.

In court, Rajagopal Murugan pleaded guilty to nine counts of various offences, including breaching his wife’s personal protection order multiple times, theft, as well as being a member of a secret society.

Another 13 counts of similar offences were taken into account during sentencing.

Rajagopal was working as a security guard at a condominium in Tampines when he got into a tiff with a resident about noise levels at a common area. The resident lodged a complaint with security manager T R Ashokkumar, who then contacted Rajagopal to find out more about the argument.

While Mr Ashokkumar was on his way to meet Rajagopal, he was told by Rajagopal to meet instead at Punggol, where he lived.

When probed further, Rajagopal turned angry and hurled vulgarities at his supervisor over the phone.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Michelle Lu told the court: “(He) also told (Mr Ashokkumar) that he is the headman of Ang Soon Tong (secret society), and he will ask his men to hit (Mr Ashokkumar).”

When the manager wanted to call the police, Rajagopal said threateningly: “You see who die — you die or I die.”

Police investigations later revealed that Rajagopal had been a secret society member since early 1989.

WIFE-BEATER, THIEF

Many times last year, Rajagopal breached a personal protection order issued against him.

In one instance on April 29 last year, while his wife, Madam Sumathi Nadarajah, was asleep in their home, he woke her up and asked for a knife.

He later told his wife that he needed the knife “to stab (her)”, DPP Lu said, “because she was possessed, doing black magic, and having an affair”. She later made a police report.

The following months, in June and September, he physically assaulted his wife and the incidents were witnessed by their 13-year-old son.

He punched her face and kicked her on various parts of her body, and she had to be admitted to hospital on both occasions.

The court heard that Rajagopal — who had been convicted on charges of voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation before — also pilfered a Gucci sling bag belonging to a shop owner on March 20 last year, and pocketed more than S$75,000 in cash.

He deposited around S$72,000 of the money into his bank account and went on a shopping spree, buying drinks and 23 bars of gold, and even paying S$1,700 for a puppy.

DPP Lu said that only the gold bars, valued more than S$12,000, have been recovered. No restitution has been made so far, and his bank account has been frozen.

At other times, he stole foodstuff from a convenience store, and a cashcard from another condominium where he worked and then using it to buy beer.

‘NO FEAR OF CONSEQUENCES’

The prosecution asked for a jail sentence of at least 13 months, but Rajagopal’s lawyer, Mr Doraraj Sinnappan, told the court that his client is remorseful and would like the jail sentence to be no more than 10 months.

“He asks for a lenient sentence…(and) one last opportunity to reform himself. He wants to spend the rest of his years with his (family),” the lawyer said.

However, that cut no ice with District Judge Eddy Tham, who told Rajagopal: “Looking at your past records, (and) numerous offences (now), it shows a person with no regard for his family…(and) no fear of consequences.

“Your (past convictions) didn’t have any effect on you, as you continued on your dishonest behaviour.”

Rajagopal’s sentence will be backdated to Sept 18, 2017, when he was first remanded. For being a member of a secret society, he could have been jailed up to three years, and/or fined up to S$5,000.

For assaulting his wife, he could have been jailed up to two years, and/or fined up to S$5,000.

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