Man sentenced to 15 months' jail after permanently disfiguring woman following a disagreement at a nightclub

Lek Lai Seng was sentenced to 15 months' jail after smashing a glass against a woman's left cheek in 2014.
Lek Lai Seng was sentenced to 15 months' jail after smashing a glass against a woman's left cheek in 2014. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A 54-year-old man was sentenced to 15 months' jail on Wednesday (April 19) after smashing a glass against a woman's left cheek in 2014.

The woman has a permanent scar as a result of the incident.

Lek Lai Seng was convicted on Dec 27 last year of causing grievous hurt to Ms Tan Mei Ji, 37, at Shanghai Dolly Club at River Valley Road. He committed the offence at around 2.30am on June 14, 2014.

The pair were regulars at the nightspot and met some time before 2010.

The incident was a result of a monetary dispute after Lek gave Ms Tan $60,000 for a business venture which did not materialise.

She went to Shanghai Dolly at around 11pm on June 13, 2014 and was having a drink when Lek, who was nearby, gestured for her to approach him.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tan Wee Hao said: "The accused asked the victim when she was going to transfer the money she owed him. She replied that she had already transferred the money to him, and had sent him a message informing him of the same."

Lek was unhappy with Ms Tan following this exchange because he felt she was being arrogant.

He splashed a drink onto her face before slapping her and then swung a glass towards Ms Tan's face, causing it to bleed profusely.

This attack was captured on closed-circuit television cameras and footage showed her staggering backwards, clutching her cheek.

Despite her injury, Ms Tan tried to retaliate by grabbing another glass from a nearby table but was stopped by club bouncers.

DPP Tan said: "One of the bouncers who escorted the victim out of Shanghai Dolly told her not to shout so much as she was already bleeding profusely, and that the police would arrest the accused. The bouncers then brought the victim out to the front lobby of Shanghai Dolly, where they awaited the arrival of the ambulance and the police."

She was taken to the Singapore General Hospital and was told she needed stitches.

Dr Chia Hui Ling, who treated Ms Tan, later testified in court that her patient had nightmares and flashbacks of the incident.

Dr Chia added that the injury would cause the victim to experience trouble controlling her drooling due to the significant scarring she suffered.

However, Lek, who was represented by lawyer Lim Kia Tong, had a different version of events.

The defence said that the accused did not cause the injury to the victim, claiming instead that Ms Tan might have caused the injury to herself.

DPP Tan pointed out that Dr Chia had also testified it was unlikely that Ms Tan's injuries were self-inflicted while she was struggling with the bouncers.

Lek, who is now represented by another lawyer, Mr Kertar Singh, will be appealing against his conviction and is now out on a bail of $40,000.

For causing grievous hurt, he could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined. He cannot be caned as he is above 50 years old.