Man jailed for twisting nurse's finger and spitting at cop

The latest offences landed Jeffridin Ramli, 49, behind bars for 20 weeks on Monday (Sept 4).
The latest offences landed Jeffridin Ramli, 49, behind bars for 20 weeks on Monday (Sept 4). ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - Four months after his release from prison, an unemployed man committed a spate of offences which included twisting a staff nurse's finger and spitting at a police officer.

The latest offences landed Jeffridin Ramli, 49, behind bars for 20 weeks on Monday (Sept 4).

He pleaded guilty to causing hurt to Ms Jessica Kong Ci Wan, 27, at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital's Emergency Department when he grabbed and twisted the senior staff nurse's little finger on her left hand on June 1, 2017.

He also admitted to spitting at Staff Sergeant Kalaikumar, 31, to deter him from discharging his duties, and hurling vulgarities at the police officer that day.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Joshua Rene Jeyaraj told District Judge Kan Shuk Weng that at about 12.55am that day, Jeffridin, drunk from having shared three bottles of beer with his friends, started harassing a group of youths at a void deck at Bukit Batok West Avenue 2.

While chasing some of them, he fell, causing him to bleed. Police later arrested Jeffridin for causing a public nuisance.

Later at the hospital, he became aggressive towards Ms Kong and threatened to slap and kick her.

As such, he was handcuffed to the bed railing and his legs were restrained with bandages. He also tried to spit at her but she covered his mouth and made him wear a surgical mask to prevent the transmission of bodily fluids.

When Ms Kong tried to take his blood pressure, he grabbed her left little finger and twisted it inwards, saying: "I told you I would hurt you right."

Two nurses managed to pry his hand away from Ms Kong's finger after about 20 seconds. Ms Kong filed an electronic police report following the incident.

At 3.15am, Staff Sgt Kalaikumar took over as the escorting officer. He put on a mask and gloves as he was told that Jeffridin was believed to be suffering from Hepatitis C.

Later, when a doctor was trying to give Jeffridin an injection, he grew more aggressive and demanded water, but was told by the officer that he could only get water after treatment.

DPP Jeyaraj said Jeffridin became more agitated, glared menacingly at the victim and shouted vulgarities at him.

Jeffridin also told the victim: "You want me to slap you?". He then started shaking violently and tried to break free by constantly rocking the bed and rattling the bed frame.

The police officers had to hold down the bed to prevent it from toppling.

Jeffridin tried to well up as much spittle as he could in his mouth and snorted several times for about 15 minutes.

He tried to loosen his face mask so that his mouth would be exposed. When his mask slipped to the side, another officer quickly readjusted it so that it covered his mouth.

DPP Jeyaraj said Jeffridin eventually managed to loosen his mask and spat once at Staff Sgt Kalaikumar, and yelled: "You want some more?"

His bloodied spittle landed on the victim's uniform at his right shoulder, name tag and body camera.

The victim quickly moved away and used water and alcohol swabs to remove the saliva and blood from his uniform and body camera.

Jeffridin continued to be aggressive and tried to spit at the doctor, the court heard.

Medical reports showed that he had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C infection since 2013, and the virus is likely to be still active.

Seeking at least 20 weeks' jail to be imposed, DPP Jeyaraj highlighted that Jeffridin had been belligerent for an extended period in hospital. He was extremely determined to spit at the police officer; knew he would cause alarm as he had Hepatitis C; and showed a flagrant disrespect towards authority.

Apart from having convictions for snatch theft, robbery, criminal intimidation and possession of dangerous weapon, Jeffridin had been jailed twice for causing hurt to a public servant in 2005 and 2016.

He committed the latest six offences, three of which were considered during his sentencing, four months after coming out of prison.

The maximum punishment for causing hurt is two years' jail and a $5,000 fine; and for using criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty, four years' jail and a fine.

Correction note: An earlier version of the story said Ms Jessica Kong Ci Wan, 27, is a staff nurse at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital's accident and emergency ward. This is incorrect. She is a senior staff nurse at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital's Emergency Department. We are sorry for the error.