Man who used a knife in massage parlour robbery gets 4½ years' jail, 12 strokes of cane
Two men who abused cough syrup and sleeping pills to get high came up with a plan to commit robbery.
One of them, Goh Soon Kim, suggested robbing a massage parlour that he believed was likely to offer illegal sexual services and therefore staff there would not make a police report.
Armed with a knife each, the two men robbed a massage parlour in Chinatown of about $950.
Goh, 38, was sentenced to four years and six months' jail and 12 strokes of the cane in court on Wednesday (April 20) after he pleaded guilty to one robbery charge.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Koh Yi Wen told the court that the Singaporean hatched the plan with Angelo Ng Chek Kiang, 42.
Goh called the massage parlour at the S Inn hostel at about 1.30am on Sept 24 last year under the mistaken impression that the establishment offered illegal sexual services.
After masseuse Tang Ping, 32, told him where the parlour is, Ng and Goh went there with knives at about 2am.
Goh threatened to hurt Ms Tang, who had greeted the two men when they arrived, if she did not give them money.
Hearing the commotion, three other masseuses went out to the front counter.
DPP Koh said: "(Goh) then told all four victims that he would hurt them if they did not give him money, but the four victims told him that they did not have any money."
After Goh tried unsuccessfully to open the lockers at the front counter with his knife, Ng pushed a table, causing a drawer to fall and hit one masseuse, leaving a small bruise on her right thigh.
Angered, the masseuse walked towards the main door. Ng pulled her back inside the parlour and ended up injuring his left hand.
Agitated by his injury, Ng slapped the masseuse in the face.
Goh continued to demand money from the four women and, fearing injury, two of them opened their lockers and gave him about $950 in cash.
After the two men left the massage parlour, Ms Tang called the police and lodged a report at 3.10 am.
Police officers arrested Goh at about 10.15am on the same day and seized $53 in cash, a foldable knife, four bottles of cough syrup, and 17 slabs of sleeping pills and some loose ones.
Goh admitted to giving more than $100 to Ng after leaving the massage parlour and spending the rest of the money.
On Wednesday, DPP Koh told the court of Goh's past offences, which include a robbery conviction in 2015, when he and four other accomplices robbed a victim of $250 after punching and slapping him.
For that 2015 crime, Goh was sentenced to three years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane, the mandatory minimum for robbery committed between 7pm and 7am .
For such a crime, the maximum prison sentence is 14 years.
In his written sentencing submissions, DPP Koh said: "The facts of the present case are not only similar to those of the offender's 2015 robbery conviction, but they also indicate an escalation in the severity and violence of his offending, given his use of a bladed weapon in the present case."
Ng's case is still pending.