Ferrari driver accused of assault said the slap she gave to motorist was justified

Shi Ka Yee (left) told the court she had slapped Mr Raphael Chong Yen Ping instead of punching him. ST PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A Ferrari driver accused of punching another motorist in 2014 admitted in court on Thursday (June 29) that she had assaulted him.

But instead of a punch, Shi Ka Yee, now 72, told the court on the second day of her trial that she slapped Mr Raphael Chong Yen Ping, 39, along Telok Ayer Street at around 5pm on Feb 25 that year.

When Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhuo Wenzhao asked her if the slap was justified, she replied: "Yes. Two yesses."

Taking the stand, Shi testified that she was driving her Ferrari to her pilates class that day when Mr Chong's BMW blocked her way at Telok Ayer Street.

She said that she sounded her horn, asking him to move but he ignored her.

As she was not confident to drive past him due to the width of her car, she got out of it and took pictures of the incident with her mobile phone.

Shi told District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt that the pictures would be used as evidence for her insurance if her Ferrari ended up with scratches.

She also said that Mr Chong then started abusing her with vulgar language.

She added: "I was very stunned, shocked and humiliated... He was not a respectable gentleman. My instinct was to give him a slap (and) I did."

On Thursday, the court heard that in her signed statement to the police in October 2014, she had said: "I was angry at his remarks and I gave him a punch with my right hand while I was still holding on to the phone."

But when her lawyer Mr Irving Choh examined her in court, she testified that she disagreed with the word "punch" and maintained that she had slapped Mr Chong instead.

She later told the court that she did not read every word of the statement before signing it.

Mr Chong had earlier testified on June 5 that he could not recall using vulgar language on her. He also said Shi had punched him on the right side of his forehead through his open car window.

The court then heard that she was wearing rings on her fingers and the blow caused a cut on his forehead.

An eyewitness, advertising agency executive director Stephen Choy Ying Whye also testified on June 5 and he gave an account that matched Mr Chong's.

When DPP Zhuo asked Shi on Thursday if she had caused Mr Chong's injury, she replied: "No." She also accused Mr Choy of lying.

Besides causing hurt, Shi has six other charges against her which will be dealt with at a later date.

She was in the news last year over a case involving a rain tree on her Astrid Hills property. Its branches were encroaching into her neighbour's front yard and the judge ordered her to trim them and pay the neighbour damages. Four of the charges against her that have been stood down for now relate to the Astrid Hill rain tree incident, including one count each of criminal trespass and committing a rash act.

The other two charges relate to an incident on June 29 last year, when Shi allegedly stopped her car between the third and fourth lanes of Orchard Road, just after the Claymore Road junction, causing an obstruction there.

She will be back in court on Aug 14.

If convicted of assault, she can be jailed up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

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