Man jailed for threatening stall assistant with chopper in row over pair of spectacles

SINGAPORE - When told the lenses from a pair of spectacles he was eyeing could not be removed, a man became so upset he shouted at the stall assistant, punched him and later returned with a chopper and threatened to hurt him with it.  

The victim, pasar malam stall assistant Lee Jian Peng, 22, was so alarmed at one point he told the police on the phone that his life was at stake.

Gan Boon Hin, 47, was on Monday (Jan 22) sentenced to a year's jail after he admitted to threatening Mr Lee with a chopper at a pasar malam stall near Tanjong Pagar Plaza on Oct 16 last year.

At the stall, Gan had asked Mr Lee for the lenses to be removed, but was told he would have to buy the spectacles first.

An upset Gan shouted at Mr Lee and a scuffle erupted, with Gan punching him in the chest.

Mr Lee later called the police but Gan threatened to get his friends to beat him up.

Gan then went away and returned with a chopper and swung it down on Mr Lee's stall table several times.

He then dared Mr Lee to come out of his stall and threatened him with the chopper.

Mr Lee tried to place a metal pole at the entrance of the stall to prevent Gan from entering. He called the police again, this time saying his life was at stake.

Two days earlier, Gan had similarly threatened a taxi driver with a chopper as the cabby was about to exit a carpark in Marsiling Lane.

This offence, together with a charge of refusing to let his photograph and finger impression be taken at Jurong police station, was considered during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Quek Jing Feng asked for at least a year's imprisonment to be imposed and said Gan had persistently returned to the stall with a chopper over a very minor incident in full public view.

Gan has unrelated convictions for theft and drug offences.