Five years ago, Mr Loo Nam Sheng (64), a resident of an old folks home in Ang Mo Kio was bashed up by an 18-year-old teenager. Mr Loo was exercising at Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West when he was assaulted. It was the elderly man’s habit to exercise at the park every morning to keep fit, after undergoing two heart operations in 2009.
The teenager, Sumanthiran Selvarajoo, attacked the old man with an umbrella on June 4 2011, at about 6.40am. Mr Loo was pronounced dead by paramedics half-an-hour later. Mr Loo a divorcee with a grown-up daughter had gone to the park to exercise at about 5am.
Sumanthiran admitted that he had been drinking before the unprovoked attack. Sumanthiren lived less than 1km from the park.
Sumenthiren was a potential national runner and was training in 2010 to get into the national track team for the Youth Olympic Games held here. Although he did not make the final cut, his former coach at St Joseph’s Institution, Mr G. Elangovan, said he had the potential to represent the country at the tracks.
The case was initially classified as murder and if he had been convicted on that charge, Sumenthiran may have faced the death penalty. He eventually pleaded guilty to four charges – one count each of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, voluntarily causing grievous hurt, causing hurt and causing hurt with a weapon.
He was jailed today for 16 years and ordered to receive 12 strokes of the cane for the unprovoked attack on Mr Loo. Three other charges – a count for causing hurt with a weapon and two for theft, were taken into consideration in sentencing.
Sumenthiran who is 22 now, committed the assault while he was out on bail on another assault and theft case.
This article was edited after publication. While Sumanthiran is a former student of St Joseph’s Institution, he had already left the school at the time of the offence.