72-year-old driver on trial for assaulting fellow motorist

Shi Ka Yee (far left) arriving at the State Courts yesterday with a law firm assistant. If convicted of assault, Shi can be jailed up to two years and fined up to $5,000.
Shi Ka Yee (left) arriving at the State Courts yesterday with a law firm assistant. If convicted of assault, Shi can be jailed up to two years and fined up to $5,000.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

She allegedly hurt the man by punching his face after trying to get him to move his car in Telok Ayer Street

A woman driving a Ferrari got into an argument with another driver that allegedly led her to assault him.

Shi Ka Yee, now 72, is accused of hurting Mr Raphael Chong Yen Ping by punching his face along Telok Ayer Street at around 5pm on Feb 25, 2014. As a result, he suffered a cut above his right eyebrow.

Mr Chong, 39, and currently between jobs, took the stand on the first day of the trial yesterday.

The court heard that he was in his BMW and waiting for a parking space along the one-way road that day when Shi drove by in her red Ferrari.

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When examined by Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhuo Wenzhao, Mr Chong said Shi started to shout and sounded her horn as she wanted him to move his car.

Mr Chong told District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt that he stayed put as the road was wide enough for other vehicles to easily pass through. He testified that in the 10 minutes he was there, many other cars managed to drive by.

ALLEGED VICTIM'S REMARKS

Don't know how to drive, don't drive a Ferrari.

MR RAPHAEL CHONG, recalling what he said to 72-year-old Ferrari driver Shi Ka Yee during the 2014 incident in Telok Ayer Street.

He added that Shi became very upset and launched into "verbal diarrhoea" against him.

Mr Chong said she then got out of her car to snap pictures of him, holding up traffic as there were other vehicles behind them.

He then told her: "Don't know how to drive, don't drive a Ferrari."

An advertising agency executive director, Mr Stephen Choy Ying Whye, who also took the stand yesterday, said he was in another car nearby when he saw Shi stepping out of her car. Mr Choy then told her: "There is enough space for your car to go by. If you want, I can guide you through."

However, he said that she declined his offer.

Yesterday, Mr Chong said Shi then moved towards his car and punched him on the right side of his forehead through an open window.

The court heard that she was wearing rings on her fingers and the blow caused a cut on Mr Chong's forehead. He called the police after she drove away.

When cross-examined by Shi's lawyer, Mr Irving Choh, he testified that he could not recall if he had hurled vulgarities at her. But Mr Choy testified that Mr Chong had not uttered any vulgarities.

Separately, Mr Choh told the court yesterday that his client was "assaulted" by several press photographers while they were trying to snap her pictures. The police are believed to be investigating the incident.

Besides causing hurt, Shi has six other charges against her which will be dealt with at a later date.

She was in the news last year over a case involving a raintree on her Astrid Hills property. Its branches were encroaching into her neighbour's front yard and the judge ordered her to trim them and pay the neighbour damages. Four of the charges against her that have been stood down for now relate to the Astrid Hill raintree incident, including one count each of criminal trespass and committing a rash act.

The other two charges relate to an incident on June 29 last year, when Shi allegedly stopped her car between the third and fourth lanes of Orchard Road, just after the Claymore Road junction, causing an obstruction there.

The trial will resume on June 29.

If convicted of assault, Shi can be jailed up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2017, with the headline '72-year-old driver on trial for assaulting fellow motorist'. Print Edition | Subscribe