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Yishun fatal assault: Judge notes victim’s ‘provocative behaviour’, jails stepfather and son for attack that killed NSF

SINGAPORE — For their violent and brutal assault on Shawn Ignatius Rodrigues at a housing block in Yishun, Ryan Xavier Tay Seet Choong and his stepfather Lawrence Lim Peck Beng were jailed on Monday (Oct 5).

Ryan Xavier Tay Seet Choong (right) and his stepfather Lawrence Lim Peck Beng (left) in a photo taken in February 2020, received their sentences for causing grievous hurt to Shawn Ignatius Rodrigues.

Ryan Xavier Tay Seet Choong (right) and his stepfather Lawrence Lim Peck Beng (left) in a photo taken in February 2020, received their sentences for causing grievous hurt to Shawn Ignatius Rodrigues.

  • Ryan Xavier Tay Seet Choong and Lawrence Lim Peck Beng were handed jail terms for assaulting a man who died from his injuries
  • The judge said the provocative behaviour of the deceased was a strong mitigating factor
  • However, the sustained and prolonged attack was also an aggravating factor

 

SINGAPORE — For their violent and brutal assault on Shawn Ignatius Rodrigues at a housing block in Yishun, Ryan Xavier Tay Seet Choong and his stepfather Lawrence Lim Peck Beng were jailed on Monday (Oct 5).

Tay, 24, is given four years’ jail and Lim, 59, is jailed eight months after they were convicted of voluntarily causing grievous hurt to their victim.

Rodrigues, 26, who died from the attack on July 9 in 2016, was said by both men to have been harassing their family over a prolonged period. 

Tay, who had been holding various part-time jobs, and Lim, a retiree, could have been jailed up to 10 years for the offence, with an added penalty of a fine or caning.

In passing his sentence at the conclusion of a trial that began in February this year, District Judge Tan Jen Tse said that he did not impose any caning on Tay due to the somewhat unique nature of the case. 

He noted that both Tay and his stepfather had clearly not sought out to assault Rodrigues, but had instead reacted when the deceased went over to their home to harass them. 

“(Rodrigues) had incessantly harassed the accused persons and their family over a period of two years,” District Judge Tan said, noting that this had led to 59 police reports being made against Rodrigues.

He added that Rodrigues’ provocative behaviour was a strong mitigating factor for both offenders whose intentions were to hand him over to the police in their “quest to put an end to their harassment”.

“It would not be difficult to imagine the distress which the deceased would have brought the accused persons and their family. I will place significant weight on this mitigating factor.” 

Still, the judge said that it does not detract from the fact that serious offences were committed.  

Tay stamped on Rodrigues’ shoulder, punched his face and head numerous times, forcefully pushed his face to the ground and pressed his knee on Rodrigues’ back for about 20 minutes.

Tay also fractured Rodrigues’ nose and eye socket.

Lim was convicted of abetting Tay by sitting on Rodrigues’ buttocks and holding down his legs during the assault.

“The fact that the attack was sustained and prolonged would be an aggravating factor. So was the fact that the attack was carried out by both accused persons, which made it more difficult for the deceased to extricate himself,” District Judge Tan said.

Earlier in the day, Tay’s lawyer, Mr Peter Low, said that his client was a young offender and urged the court to call for a probation suitability report.

However, District Judge Tan said that he was not inclined to do so given the severity of the attack. 

During their trial, Tay and Lim both testified that Rodrigues, a full-time national serviceman (NSF) who was Tay’s church friend, had constantly harassed their family and that they had filed many police reports against him.

Tay and Rodrigues knew each other from their time when they served as altar boys at the Catholic Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Yishun in 2006, but after the friendship soured, Rodrigues constantly pestered Tay and his family.

The court heard previously that Rodrigues developed “a special liking” for Tay after Tay had defended him from bullies in church, but the pair fell out after Rodrigues was banned from the church for stealing coins.

It all came to a head when they assaulted Rodrigues near their home, at a lift landing of Block 279, Yishun Street 22. Rodrigues died from traumatic asphyxia with a head injury.

Related topics

assault yishun NSF crime court death

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