Frenchman fined $1,400 for hitting, insulting doctor

A Frenchman who accosted and abused a man at a petrol station has been fined $1,400.

Yannick Pierre Yves Le Borgne, 37, a financial executive, was sentenced on Friday after being found guilty of two charges of assaulting and causing distress to Dr K. Paramesvaran, 65 , who is better known as Dr Param.

Their spat at a petrol station in Holland Road on April 20, 2014, made the news early last year as an anti-harassment case, after Dr Param uploaded two videos on YouTube detailing his run-in with Yannick.

A District Court then issued an interim order for Dr Param to remove the captions he had put in the two videos under the Protection from Harassment Act.

Dr Param, represented by lawyer Bernard Doray, pursued a private prosecution against Yannick after filing a magistrate's complaint.

Yannick applied to the Public Prosecutor earlier this year to intervene to discontinue the court proceedings. The Public Prosecutor can discontinue court proceedings if he deems this to be in the public's interest. This results in the accused being discharged.

But Yannick's bid failed and a two-day trial involving six witnesses was held in August.

Dr Param, managing director of Medical Imaging, which runs a chain of radiological clinics, testified that he had gone to the cashier after fuelling his car and was having difficulties over payment with his company's corporate card.

Yannick approached him from behind to tell him to say "please"?and tapped him on his shoulder some 15 times.

He told Dr Param: "You want to touch me. You touch me."

Dr Param said the Frenchman further abused him by telling him, among other things: "You are from a s*** country."

Yannick, defended by lawyer Choo Zheng Xi, said he felt provoked because Dr Param had said he was a foreigner and identified him as a French national.

He added that the contact he made on Dr Param comprised light touches intended to calm him down and that his sole purpose in talking to Dr Param was to stand up for the cashier, who appeared disturbed by the latter's attitude towards her.

For the first charge of assault, Yannick was fined $800 for hitting Dr Param up to at least 15 times on his shoulder, once with such force as to cause his body to move. For the second charge under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, he was fined $600 for insulting Dr Param.

Yannick was acquitted of a third charge, for allegedly abusing Dr Param outside the petrol kiosk.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2016, with the headline 'Frenchman fined $1,400 for hitting, insulting doctor'. Print Edition | Subscribe