Man jailed for hitting teen over tiff with daughter

Victim, 15, punched amid quarrel with accused's daughter, 13, over text messages

A heated exchange over text messages between teenagers who had never met each other ended with one of their fathers being charged in court.

Yesterday, the 44-year-old father of three was jailed for eight weeks for punching one of the teenagers three times. The teenager, then 15 years old, suffered a broken nose.

Another charge of hurting the teen's 16-year-old friend was considered during the sentencing of the former hawker, who is now working as an Uber driver.

The court heard that, in 2015, the accused's then 13-year-old daughter got to know the victim through a mutual friend. They were all part of a chat group.

After some time had passed, the daughter found the chat group distracting and told her sister about it. Her sister is a year older.

The older girl told the chat group to stop texting her younger sister, while using the younger girl's phone. This resulted in the victim exchanging insults and vulgarities with the two sisters.

On July 18 that year, the girls decided to attend a friend's birthday celebration knowing the victim and his friends would be there. The accused drove his daughters to the party.

The accused, who had been waiting nearby, stepped in and, after a heated exchange, a scuffle broke out, during which the accused punched the victim in the face three times...

The victim, now 17, suffered several injuries, including a broken nasal bone and a loose left upper incisor tooth.

While on their way to the party, the 13-year-old received a message from the victim saying he was waiting for her.

The sisters informed their father that the victim had insulted them with vulgarities and wanted to meet them. The accused advised them to ignore the victim.

When they were at the block, the two girls walked towards the victim, who was with three others, including the 16-year-old.

As they had never met before, the 13-year-old asked the victim and another teen who they were. The victim and his 16-year-old friend identified themselves and they started arguing about the previous incident. In the midst of the quarrel, the victim and the 13-year-old pushed each other.

The accused, who had been waiting nearby, stepped in and, after a heated exchange, a scuffle broke out, during which the accused punched the victim in the face three times.

After the third punch, the victim momentarily lost consciousness and fell to the ground, hitting his head as he fell.

The victim, now 17, suffered several injuries, including a broken nasal bone and a loose left upper incisor tooth.

The accused's lawyer, Mr Lim Swee Tee, said in mitigation that the incident had traumatised his client and the girls.

He said his client had made compensation of $2,526 to the victim.

The accused could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2017, with the headline 'Man jailed for hitting teen over tiff with daughter'. Print Edition | Subscribe