Jailed for burning boy with cigarette

Part-time security guard Peh Kheng was drunk when he attacked the boy at a lift lobby in Lengkok Bahru.
Part-time security guard Peh Kheng was drunk when he attacked the boy at a lift lobby in Lengkok Bahru.

A 63-year-old part-time security guard was jailed for eight months yesterday after he pleaded guilty to using a cigarette to burn a 12-year-old boy.

The court heard that Peh Kheng, while drunk, attacked the boy because the man thought he had been screaming at the void deck of a block of flats in Lengkok Bahru.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Dwayne Lum said Peh started drinking alcohol at 10am last Nov 17 and was intoxicated by around 6.30pm.

While smoking a cigarette, he heard someone screaming nearby.

Peh then went to a nearby block and saw the boy waiting for a lift. Assuming that the boy was the one who screamed, Peh attacked him.

DPP Lum said: "The victim was alone at the lift lobby when the accused suddenly rushed up to him and pushed his scooter to the ground. The victim turned when he heard his scooter crash to the ground."

Peh then pressed his lit cigarette on the right side of the boy's neck before walking away.

The boy told his mother about the attack when he reached home, and she alerted the police.

The boy later went to Alexandra Hospital, where he was found to have a circular dry burn on his neck.

DPP Lum said CCTV footage from the lift lobby captured Peh harming the boy. He added: "The CCTV does not show the victim screaming loudly (or) any interaction between the two before the accused decided to burn the victim with the lit cigarette."

The court heard that Peh, who lives two blocks away from the boy, did not have any disputes with the victim or his family. For assault with a weapon, offenders can be jailed for up to seven years and fined or caned. Peh cannot be caned as he is over 50.

Shaffiq Alkhatib

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2018, with the headline 'Jailed for burning boy with cigarette'. Print Edition | Subscribe