Double amputee jailed 3 weeks after using wheelchair as weapon to assault man

SINGAPORE - Angry over a staring incident, a double amputee charged his motorised wheelchair towards an elderly man and rammed it into his victim.

When Mr Tay Seng Kim, 74, fell down and got his left leg stuck in the wheels, Toh Khai Nam, 60, continued moving his wheelchair to cause more pain to the older man.

Toh, who had lost his legs in an accident, was jailed for three weeks after pleading guilty on Friday (Dec 8) to assault and committing a rash act.

Mr Tay was walking along Tampines Street 81 at around 10.40am on Jan 10 when he got into a dispute with Toh.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En said an irate Toh then steered his wheelchair towards Mr Tay.

DPP Chong said the victim tried to run away from Toh but fell after Toh moved his wheelchair forward, hitting Mr Tay and causing him to lose his balance.

Toh continued moving his wheelchair when his victim's leg got stuck in its wheels. He also threatened to buy a knife to stab Mr Tay.

A 29-year-old passer-by stepped in to stop the attack and the police were notified. Mr Tay was taken to Changi General Hospital where he was found to be suffering from multiple abrasions and a wound on his ankle which needed three stitches.

While out on bail after this incident, Toh got involved in another staring incident, with Mr Wong Tah Twang, 67, at a coffee shop at Block 823A in Tampines Street 81.

During the incident on Nov 20, Toh hurled vulgarities at Mr Wong before grabbing a metal can and flinging it at him. The can, which was used as an ashtray, missed his victim but its contents spilled onto the older man's shirt and newspaper.

Still fuming with rage, Toh threw a beer bottle at Mr Wong but missed as well.

DPP Chong said: "He wheeled his wheelchair... grabbed an empty beer bottle and smashed it, causing the shards to fly across the coffee shop and in the vicinity of the other patrons."

Two people alerted the police and officers deployed to the scene advised Toh to calm down.

His lawyer, Ms Ariel Lim from the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme Fellowship, urged District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan to jail her client for two weeks.

She told the court that Toh cannot cope with his emotions after losing his legs. "He recognises that he has serious anger management issues and is willing to seek counselling after his release," she added.

For causing hurt, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.