Briton given four weeks' jail for assault

Benjamin John Holman, 34, broke the nose of a man who had bumped into him accidentally at an MRT station.
Benjamin John Holman, 34, broke the nose of a man who had bumped into him accidentally at an MRT station.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A former recruitment consultant was sentenced to four weeks' jail yesterday for punching and breaking the nose of a man who had bumped into him at Raffles Place MRT station.

Benjamin John Holman, 34, who pleaded guilty to one count of assault in March, committed the offence during the evening rush hour on Feb 3 last year.

Mr Jason Ow Zhi Min, 30, was walking along the train platform when he accidentally knocked into Holman, who had consumed alcohol before the incident.

The younger man turned around and looked at Holman before walking away. The Briton then yelled at Mr Ow, who shouted back at him. The two men got into an argument but Mr Ow later walked away again.

Still unhappy, Holman walked towards him and pushed the younger man's chest.

A scuffle then broke out.

When Mr Ow pushed Holman away and told him to back off, he responded by approaching the victim with his fists raised.

Deputy Public Prosecutor M. Kayal Pillay said: "He punched the victim in his face twice and both parties then started punching each other. During the fist fight, the victim was almost kneeling on the ground.

"The accused continued to punch the victim multiple times in his face. There were many other commuters at the station platform at the material time.

"Both parties were eventually separated by passers-by."

Holman tried to walk away but a bystander stopped him and the police were alerted.

Mr Ow was taken to the Singapore General Hospital, where he was found to have suffered a broken nose and bruising.

He was given seven days' medical leave.

DPP Pillay had earlier urged District Judge Kessler Soh to jail Holman for at least eight months, stressing that it was a "senseless attack" in a public place and that the victim "tried to retreat but to no avail".

Yesterday, she asked the court for a two-week deferment so that the prosecution can consider filing an appeal against the sentence.

Holman is now out on bail of $5,000 and was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on May 23.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2018, with the headline 'Briton given four weeks' jail for assault'. Print Edition | Subscribe