SCDF warrant officer jailed 13 months for role in NSF's drowning, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

SCDF warrant officer jailed 13 months for role in NSF's drowning

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Mohamed Farid Mohd Saleh, a first warrant officer with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), was yesterday sentenced to 13 months' jail for his role in a ragging case that led to the death of a full-time SCDF national serviceman.

Farid, 37, was the third officer to be convicted over the incident in which Corporal Kok Yuen Chin, 22, drowned on May 13 last year.

He was found guilty last month of instigating another officer - 34-year-old Muhammad Nur Fatwa Mahmood, a staff sergeant - to push Cpl Kok into a 12m-deep pump well at Tuas View Fire Station.

On the day of the incident, most of the officers on duty at the fire station had gathered in the control room for a cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate Cpl Kok's impending completion of national service.

Some officers then lifted Cpl Kok and carried him across the yard to the pump well he was pushed into soon after.

During the trial, Nur Fatwa testified that it was Farid who told him to push Cpl Kok into the pump well. As a result of Nur Fatwa's actions, Cpl Kok drowned.

Nur Fatwa was sentenced in October last year to one year and four weeks' jail for committing a rash act not amounting to culpable homicide. He has since completed his jail term.

In sentencing submissions yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Kumaresan Gohulabalan asked for at least 14 months' jail for Farid, citing aggravating factors including the fact that he was the highest ranking individual in the immediate vicinity of the pump well at the time.

On the degree of culpability of those involved, DPP Kumaresan said Farid had "actively" suggested to Nur Fatwa to push Cpl Kok in.

In Farid's mitigation, his lawyer Vinit Chhabra asked for a sentence of between four to eight months' jail.

He said that while the court has determined that Farid did instigate Nur Fatwa, his client had no control over the suddenness or manner in which Nur Fatwa "snuck up" behind Cpl Kok and "shoved" him.

He also said Farid regrets that Cpl Kok died that day and "wishes more than anything else that it had never happened".

In handing out the sentence, Second Principal District Judge Victor Yeo said the sentence must reflect the degree of harm and culpability in the case.