7 weeks' jail for recalcitrant offender who assaulted, hurled racial insults at SG clean ambassador

SINGAPORE - A recalcitrant offender who had earlier been released from prison reoffended and punched an SG clean ambassador at Maxwell Food Centre after the latter told him to wear his mask properly.

In December last year, K. Chandra Segaran was sentenced to five weeks' jail for assault.

The driver was at the eatery in April when he assaulted his latest victim, Mr Brandon Ong, 28. Chandra also hurled obscenity-laced racial insults at him.

The 54-year-old Singaporean was on Friday (Oct 1) sentenced to seven weeks' jail after he pleaded guilty to one count each of assault, harassment and an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

As an SG clean ambassador, Mr Ong was tasked to ensure that people at the food centre in Kadayanallur Street near Chinatown adhered to safe distancing measures.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Joseph Gwee said that at around 1pm on April 18, Mr Ong and an auxiliary police officer spotted Chandra walking around the eatery with his mask below his chin.

He was not consuming any food or drinks at the time. Mr Ong asked Chandra to wear his mask properly but the older man ignored him.

When Mr Ong repeated his request, Chandra punched the SG clean ambassador once on the left side of his face and verbally abused him.

The auxiliary police officer's body-worn camera managed to record Chandra's antics.

The court heard that Mr Ong did not suffer any visible injuries after the attack and did not seek medical attention.

The auxiliary policeman alerted the police and officers arrived at the scene.

Despite this, Chandra still refused to don his mask properly and was later arrested.

The DPP said: "Whilst the victim was not a law enforcement officer or public servant in the strict sense, the victim was merely trying to request that the accused abide by the law.

"From the footage, we can hear that the accused had defiantly told the victim and the witness that he would give them trouble if they wanted it. The accused's reaction was completely unwarranted and occurred after he had punched the victim on the face."

For assault, an offender can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $5,000.

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