Man jailed for assault over apparent staring incident

Wee Boon How (left) was jailed for three years and nine months yesterday. He was out on bail for an earlier rioting offence when he attacked Mr Bong Hong Yun in a fight at Golden Mile Complex in October 2017. The fight broke out after Wee accused Mr
Wee Boon How (above) was jailed for three years and nine months yesterday. He was out on bail for an earlier rioting offence when he attacked Mr Bong Hong Yun in a fight at Golden Mile Complex in October 2017. The fight broke out after Wee accused Mr Bong of staring at him.ST FILE PHOTO

A food stall attendant has been jailed for a "barbaric" attack on a man he accused of staring at him.

He stomped on the victim's face, punched him until he fell unconscious and left him in need of facial reconstruction surgery.

Wee Boon How was out on bail for an earlier rioting offence when he attacked Mr Bong Hong Yun, 26, in a fight at Golden Mile Complex that was captured on video and went viral online.

The 24-year-old was jailed for three years and nine months yesterday after pleading guilty to causing grievous hurt to Mr Bong. He also admitted to two rioting charges.

Describing Wee's attack on Mr Bong as "barbaric", District Judge Marvin Bay noted that the older man had to undergo reconstructive surgery for facial fractures.

The judge added: "There is no place for acts of wanton group violence... in modern day Singapore, and especially for trivial reasons such as from staring or swearing incidents, where in this case the violence was truly grossly disproportionate to any known provocation."

The court heard that Wee was first arrested after he and at least two other men ganged up to attack a 20-year-old man at an Orchard Road nightspot, leaving the victim with cut lips.

 

Court documents did not reveal the reasons behind the April 2017 incident.

Police later questioned Wee and he was out on bail when he went to Golden Mile Complex at around 3am on Oct 11 that year.

He confronted Mr Bong on the first storey of the Beach Road shopping complex and accused the older man of staring at him, before a fight broke out between the pair.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhou Yihong said: "Some time during the fight... the victim fell onto the ground. The accused did not stop the fight but continuously threw punches at the victim's face until the victim turned unconscious.

"As the victim lay on the ground unconscious, the accused bent down over the victim and continued to throw multiple punches on the victim's face."

After that, Wee stomped on and kicked Mr Bong in the face multiple times before leaving the scene. The older man was later taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Wee was charged in court later that month. He was out on bail again when he got involved in a rioting offence, in which he ganged up with four others to assault Mr Benjamin Woon Boon Hock, 32, at a St James Power Station nightspot.

Yesterday, defence lawyer Wee Hong Shern pleaded for his client to be sentenced to 3½ years in jail.

The lawyer said Wee had a low IQ and was exempted from national service, adding that his client was "genuinely remorseful".

For causing grievous hurt, Wee could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined or caned.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2019, with the headline 'Man jailed for assault over apparent staring incident'. Print Edition | Subscribe