Cleaner jailed 6 months and 4 weeks for hurting cop; slapping and threatening NEA officer

Ramasamy Soogumar, 59, was jailed for causing hurt to a police officer, and for criminal intimidation and causing hurt to a National Environment Agency officer. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - Despite a "No Smoking" sign just 3m away from him, a cleaner started to smoke as he drank his beer at the void deck of Block 676, Hougang Avenue 8.

When two NEA officers approached him about it, he slapped and threatened one of them. And when two police officers were later called in to help, he hit one of the officer's hands.

On Friday (Aug 11), Ramasamy Soogumar, 59, was sentenced to six months and four weeks in jail for causing hurt to a police officer to deter him from discharging his duty, and for criminal intimidation and causing hurt to a National Environment Agency (NEA) officer.

The court heard that on May 30, 2017, Ramasamy was approached by Cisco auxiliary police officers Gugan Santhirasakaran, 24, and Salvin Kaur Mindar Singh, 23.

After Ms Kaur introduced herself as an NEA authorising officer and Mr Gugan, an NEA enforcement officer, she proceeded to issue Ramasamy a notice to attend court for smoking in an unauthorised area.

Ramasamy hurled vulgarities in Tamil at Mr Gugan, used his chest to bump into him and slapped him on the face.

Mr Gugan took a few steps back to de-escalate the situation.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Shi said that when the NEA officers saw two police officers, Sergeant Christian Tan Kai Jun, 21, and Staff Sergeant Lionel Tan Wei Ming, 27, who were on a routine patrol, they asked them for help.

When the two police officers approached Ramasamy and tried to interview him, he tried to leave.

Ramasamy repeatedly tried to confront Mr Gugan but the two police officers told him to sit. He then raised his hand towards Staff Sgt Tan's face but was told to stop.

Undeterred, he tried to move towards Mr Gugan, but Sgt Christian Tan put out his hand in an attempt to restrain him.

Ramasamy slapped Sgt Tan's hand away.

He then threatened Mr Gugan in Tamil by saying, among other things, to "watch out" and that the victim would "die" at his hands.

Pleading for leniency, Ramasamy's lawyer, Ms Harjeet Kaur, said in mitigation that her client committed the offences in the spur of the moment, with no premeditation nor any intention to carry out the threat.

She said her client uttered the words because of his intoxicated state. She also told the court that Ramasamy, a divorcee with two children, has "strong familial support", and that his auntie and nephew will do their best to "control" him once he is released.

District Judge Imran Abdul Hamid backdated his sentence to June 1, and took two other charges into consideration during sentencing.

Ramasamy has previous convictions for disorderly behaviour, using abusive language and robbery with hurt. He was released in June 2016 after serving 11 years' preventive detention and caned for robbery with hurt.

He could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined for causing hurt to deter a public servant from discharging his duty. For causing hurt, the maximum penalty is two years' jail and a $5,000 fine; and for criminal intimidation, seven years' jail or more.

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