SAF personnel fined $9,000 for punching pedestrian

Lim Yee Hua, 35, was convicted of two charges of punching a pedestrian and fined a total of $9,000 on Jan 10, 2017.
Lim Yee Hua, 35, was convicted of two charges of punching a pedestrian and fined a total of $9,000 on Jan 10, 2017. PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A Singapore Armed Forces personnel who was convicted of two charges of punching a pedestrian was fined a total of $9,000 on Tuesday (Jan 10).

Lim Yee Hua, 36, had claimed trial to causing hurt to Mr Basil Ho Ping Yong, 49, after an altercation near Block 503B located next to Canberra Link in Sembawang on July 11, 2014.

Lim was accused of punching Mr Ho on the right side of his face and on the back of his neck.

District Judge Luke Tan convicted Lim of both charges last November after a trial.

Mr Ho had testified that he was on his way home and about to use the zebra crossing that evening when he saw a black Honda Airwave MPV drive through without stopping.

Mr Ho said the vehicle, driven by Lim, almost knocked into him. Upset, Mr Ho hit the top of the MPV with his palm as it passed him by. Lim's family members and a domestic maid were in the vehicle at the time.

Continuing his way home, Mr Ho was accosted by Lim at the foot of Block 503B, who was shouting and throwing expletives.

Lim asked why Mr Ho, an IT auditor, had hit the top of his vehicle. An argument ensued.

Lim grabbed Mr Ho by his shirt and pushed him around. Lim then swung his arm at Mr Ho, and punched the latter on the right side of his face, hitting his spectacles away from his face, scratching his face.

Mr Ho then made his way back to the zebra crossing to take down Lim's car plate number.

After doing so, Lim confronted him again. This time, he reached out for Mr Ho's chain around his neck, causing it to break and scratching him.

When Mr Ho was bending down to look for his chain, he felt a punch to the back of his neck.

Lim claimed in his defence that he had only held onto Mr Ho on both instances. He denied punching or hitting Mr Ho.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chan Yi Cheng had sought a short jail sentence to be imposed.

But Judge Tan felt that the custodial threshold had not been crossed in this case. He noted Lim's clean record, that the injuries were not serious, and that this was not a typical road rage case.

"However, the fine I am about to impose has to be heavy enough to serve as a deterrent to other accused that such behaviour should not be tolerated,'' he said.

Lim, defended by Mr Chenthil Kumarasingam, could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for each charge.