Man fined $3,000 for intimidating son's creditors with axe

SINGAPORE - Incensed at legal debt collectors who had confronted his son at home over an unpaid motorcycle loan, Wong Foo Yu retrieved an axe with a 40cm blade and chased one of them to the staircase landing.

He swung the axe at the staircase's metal railings, breaking the axe in two, and continued to swing the handle at the debt collector.

On Wednesday, Wong was fined $3,000 after pleading guilty to committing criminal intimidation on Mr Andra Chew Keng Leng, 37.

It is unclear how much the loan, which had gone unpaid for four months already, amounted to. Wong told reporters after the court hearing that the bike was worth $2,000.

The court heard on Wednesday that the 53-year-old, who was the guarantor for his son's debt, had gotten into a dispute with a team of debt collectors on Dec 23 last year.

He rushed down after they confronted his son, Mr Wong Jun Hua, at Block 712 Yishun Avenue 5. After retrieving the axe, he also hit the flat windows with his hands and said he would blame the damage on the debt collectors. He then chased Mr Chew and committed the offence.

Pleading for leniency, defence counsel Kertar Singh said his client had acted in a desperate attempt to protect his family and "lost his bearings" in the heat of the moment. The collectors had harassed Wong's son, who contacted him immediately for help, the lawyer added.

Wong could have been jailed for up to two years and fined.