The assault took place in April 2010. By Feb 2012, 2 of the 3 assailants had fled the country.
As we reported last year, on 11 April 2010, three friends tried to help a taxi driver who was being heckled and assaulted by a group of four Caucasian men at the taxi stand at Suntec City Tower 5. The three do-gooders were later pounced on by the Caucasian group, with 2 of the 3 friends eventually having to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.
The 3 Caucasians – Australian Nathan Robert Miller, Briton Robert James Springall and New Zealander Robert Stephen Dahlberg – were charged in Singapore in July 2011.
The New Paper reported in December 2011:
“The Kiwi was granted bail of $25,000 and was given permission to leave Singapore for London and Hong Kong from July 11 to 29. Springall, an options broker like Dahlberg, was released on a bail of $6,000, while Miller’s bail was $10,000. After his trip, Dahlberg was supposed to surrender his passport to the Singapore police on Aug 1.”
Dahlberg is alleged to have pushed Mr Paul Louis Liew Kai Ming, 26, causing him to hit his face against a pillar. Mr Liew was reported to have “fractured his nasal bone and suffered a 4cm cut on his forehead and had to be hospitalised.”
However, Dahlberg was allowed to leave Singapore for two weeks in July and has since absconded. A warrant of arrest was issued against him in September 2011. The Straits Times reported that the “Singapore Police Force may enlist the help of Interpol to track down… Dahlberg.”
In February, news reported that Springall too had fled Singapore’s jurisdiction. In fact, he did so in December last year.
The third man, Miller, has since pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to three weeks’ jail for punching the cab driver.
The circumstances which have resulted in 2 of the 3 assailants fleeing Singapore have raised questions of how the case was handled by the police. As reported by both publichouse.sg and mainstream news outlets, the assault was a vicious one, resulting in two of the men having to be hospitalised.
Also, the case took more than a year, after the victims lodged a police report following the incident, for the authorities to complete its investigation and to arrest and charge the assailants. One of the men who tried to help the cab driver, Mr Laurence Wong, had expressed fears that the assailants may flee Singapore as the police had told Mr Wong and his friends that the Caucasian men ““are allowed to leave the country as and when they want”.
Now, it seems, Mr Wong’s greatest fears have come true with the second of the 3 assailants absconding from Singapore.
It is unclear if the police are going to engage the help of Interpol, as news reported earlier they might, to bring the two culprits to justice.
Singaporeans deserve to know what the authorities plan to do next and they should also explain how 2 men accused of violent assaults are able to flee Singapore so easily.