4 fined for bashing man after bottle attack

THEY were enjoying a round of drinks when a stranger asked to join them.

When they turned him down, he threw a bottle at them. They retaliated by assaulting him.

Yesterday, four men each admitted to one charge of being a member of an unlawful assembly. For attacking Gao Chunlei after he threw a bottle at them, they were each fined $5,000.

Gao was convicted earlier this month of committing a rash act and jailed for one month and 12 days.

The incident happened on April 20 this year, when Sun Dong, 22, Li Chuan, 27, Sun Hongyu, 32, and Zhang Hongbo, 34 - all Chinese nationals - were drinking with three other men at the open area of a food court in Boon Lay.

It was after about two hours of drinking, at around 11.50pm, when Gao, 23, approached them and said he wanted to drink with them.

None of them knew Gao - who is also a Chinese national - so they said no.

Gao then turned to leave but not before throwing an empty beer bottle at them.

The bottle shattered, and fragments of broken glass hit Sun Hongyu.

The group then started punching and kicking Gao.

A woman who was walking by called the police and all the men were arrested.

The court heard that Gao did not suffer any injuries during the brief assault.

Mr Louis Joseph, who was the defence lawyer for the four men, asked for leniency as it was the first time any of them had broken the law. "Of course, what they did was inexcusable but they did not go out looking for trouble," he said.

District Judge Christopher Goh did not hand down a jail term as Gao was the aggressor initially. Instead, the judge ordered the four to pay a fine.

The three other men in the group, Chen Zhenhua, 31, Chen Jiantong, 30, and Tan Yuxi, 23, also Chinese nationals, are facing charges but have yet to file a plea.

For being a member of an unlawful assembly with the common intention to hurt, each of them could have been jailed for up to two years and fined.

rkurohi@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2015, with the headline '4 fined for bashing man after bottle attack'. Print Edition | Subscribe