SINGAPORE: Ong Boon Jun and National Serviceman Dave Teo Ming were good friends. When Teo was caught with a rifle near Orchard Road last year, it was learnt he had earlier been with Ong who did not report the matter to the police.
For being an accomplice in the incident, Ong was sentenced to 6.5 years' jail and six strokes of the cane on Monday.
Teo had gone absent without leave from Mandai Hill Camp on September 2 last year when he took the SAR-21 and five rounds of ammunition.
With the rifle in a bag, Teo checked into a hotel in Geylang the next day.
Ong was with Teo in the hotel room before Teo was caught in a toilet at Orchard Cineleisure later that night.
Ong's lawyer, Amolat Singh, said his client realised he should have left the hotel room when he saw that Teo had the rifle.
Mr Amolat Singh said: "He was looking forward to the minimum mandatory sentence of five years. As you have heard, he has been sentenced to six-and-a-half-years. It's quite close to the maximum of seven years.
"We will visit him in prison to take his instructions. As you know, we act on instructions. If he instructs to appeal, then we will file the necessary papers to appeal."
Ong's adopted parents and a cousin were also in court. Ong's mother was visibly shaken, wiping her eyes a few times outside the courtroom.
The judge said he had considered the facts and implications of the case. He said it was incumbent on Ong to report the accused, Dave Teo, to the police so that no harm would come to anyone.
More so, the judge said, because Teo had told Ong he was going to commit armed robbery.
Teo's next pre-trial conference is on 6 March. For Ong, his sentence is backdated to the start of his remand last September. - CNA/ir