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Corrective training for habitual offender who tried to use stun gun on cop

SINGAPORE — A 24-year-old man with "violent tendencies" was sentenced to a minimum five years of corrective training on Wednesday (June 20) for a slew of offences, including attempting to use a stun gun on a police officer who caught him behaving suspiciously in a carpark.

A 24-year-old man with “violent tendencies” was sentenced to a minimum five years of corrective training on Wednesday (June 20) for a slew of offences, including attempting to use a stun gun on a police officer who caught him behaving suspiciously in a carpark.

A 24-year-old man with “violent tendencies” was sentenced to a minimum five years of corrective training on Wednesday (June 20) for a slew of offences, including attempting to use a stun gun on a police officer who caught him behaving suspiciously in a carpark.

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SINGAPORE — A 24-year-old man with "violent tendencies" was sentenced to a minimum five years of corrective training on Wednesday (June 20) for a slew of offences, including attempting to use a stun gun on a police officer who caught him behaving suspiciously in a carpark.

Sivakandesh was also given eight strokes of the cane and a S$4,000 fine by District Judge Shaifuddin Saruwan, who cited his past criminal convictions and risk of reoffending.

He pleaded guilty last month to seven charges, with another six similar charges taken into consideration for sentencing.

The unemployed man admitted to hitting a police officer's nose with his palm, trying to use a stun gun on another officer, hurling multiple vulgarities and spitting at a third officer, and possessing a flick knife among others.

Corrective training is a harsher form of imprisonment, as the offender is unlikely to be given early release for factors such as good behaviour.

The court had heard that Sivakandesh was previously sentenced to reformative training in 2012 for violence-related offences, including rioting and voluntarily causing hurt.

After he was released on supervision, he reoffended less than two weeks later. He was jailed for two years and given 12 strokes of the cane for stabbing and slashing his victim in the face and body with a chopper.

He was then released from prison on a remission order, but soon went back to his old ways.

On Aug 21, 2016, the police caught him armed with a stun gun outside a shopping mall in Yishun. He put up a struggle when he was stopped by a policeman and hit the officer's nose with his palm while he was trying to detain him.

Sivakandesh was subsequently released on court bail.

However, less than three weeks later, he was arrested again in the early morning of September 10 for causing public disturbance at Hotel Rendezvous in Bras Basah.

While in the police car heading to the Police Cantonment Complex, he repeatedly hurled various obscenities at the officers, and spit at one of them a few times.

On November 18, the police received information that someone had imported a stun gun. Further investigations revealed that Sivakandesh had ordered it online.

Later, on Jan 10, 2017, he tried to use the stun gun on a police officer when caught behaving suspiciously at a Yishun carpark.

He had stolen a purse with S$87 cash and a pair of S$150 sunglasses from an unlocked Mercedes Benz in the carpark.

After Sivakandesh was placed under arrest, he was found to have a flick knife with an 8.5cm blade as well.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Jason Nim noted that Sivakandesh had reoffended "persistently and habitually, in spite of the escalation of punishment meted out against him".

"The accused has violent tendencies which he appears unable to curb… and manifests a worrying pro-criminal mindset," DPP Nim said. "He has demonstrated complete contempt for the authority of the police officers in using violence on them, or in subjecting them to verbal abuse of a significant level of vitriol."

The prosecutor added that Sivakandesh has exhibited violent conduct to prison authorities while in remand, and has shown antisocial and anti-authority traits.

Sivakandesh's defence lawyer Ashwin Ganapathy told the court that in his point of view, Sivakandesh "has taken responsibility for his actions".

For voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant in the discharge of his duty, he could have been given up to seven years' jail, a fine, caning, or a combination of the three.

For theft, he could have been jailed for up to three years, fined, or both. And for unlawful possession of a weapon, he could have been jailed up to five years and given at least six strokes of the cane.

 

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said that District Judge Eddy Tham ordered caning and a fine for Sivakandesh. It was District Judge Shaifuddin Saruwan who heard the case. We apologise for the error.

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