In a disturbing incident, Muhammad Ghufran bin Zuraini, now 21 years old, has been sentenced to four years and three weeks in prison, along with nine strokes of the cane.
Ghufran pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to possessing a dangerous weapon with the intent to cause grievous hurt, carrying the weapon in public, and mischief.
The violent episode unfolded when Ghufran, then 19, became upset after being scolded on the phone by another man. In retaliation, he tracked down the man with the help of two friends and cornered him in a Jalan Sultan void deck before attacking him with a watermelon knife. The 19-year-old victim survived the assault but sustained numerous lacerations, including a severe 10-inch knife wound on his head.
On the evening of Sep. 19, 2021, Ghufran called his friend’s ex-girlfriend, questioning her about their breakup. An interruption by one of the ex-girlfriend’s friends led to a confrontation, with Ghufran getting angrier. In response to being scolded by the ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend, Ghufran’s anger escalated.
Armed with the watermelon knife, Ghufran took a cab to the ex-girlfriend’s house, where he and two friends eventually cornered the boyfriend in front of a lift at the block. Ghufran ruthlessly slashed the victim a total of 11 times. The assailants fled to Pasir Ris before the police could arrive.
The victim was found lying in a pool of blood at the block’s lift entrance. Paramedics discovered multiple knife wounds on his body, including a 10-cm laceration on his head. Further diagnosis at Tan Tock Seng Hospital revealed a skull fracture and injury to his right eye, resulting in a 50-day medical certificate.
Ghufran’s Prior Release and Violations
Ghufran’s troubled history includes his release from the Reformative Training Centre (RTC) on Sep. 17, 2021, with an electronic monitoring device. Despite the conditions of his supervision, Ghufran purchased a 50-cm long watermelon knife for S$30 the day after his release, hiding it in his cupboard.
Knowing he was violating the conditions of his supervision, Ghufran cut off his electronic tracker to evade capture. The police identified the assailants through images from police and CCTV cameras, leading to their arrest between Sep. 20 and Sep. 22, 2021.
Ghufran’s guilty plea resulted in a prison sentence of four years and three weeks, accompanied by nine strokes of the cane. The severity of the attack and the use of a dangerous weapon contributed to the substantial punishment.