Man slapped victim who fell to the ground and now needs help with daily chores after suffering head injuries

Thomas Lee Zhixiong was sentenced to six months and four weeks' jail on Jan 10, 2020, after he admitted to assaulting Mr Lee Cheng Peng
Thomas Lee Zhixiong was sentenced to six months and four weeks' jail on Jan 10, 2020, after he admitted to assaulting Mr Lee Cheng PengST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A mentally impaired man was dealt a blow in 2018 when he was slapped and fell to the ground, seriously injuring his head.

Mr Lee Cheng Peng, 50, could perform daily chores on his own before Thomas Lee Zhixiong, 38, assaulted him on Jan 24 that year.

Today, he stays in a nursing home, unable to do the chores. A district court heard that his condition is unlikely to improve.

Thomas Lee was sentenced to six months and four weeks' jail on Friday (Jan 10) after he admitted to assaulting the older man.

He also pleaded guilty to a second unrelated assault charge and one count of mischief.

At the time, Thomas Lee was working as a consultant with NRT Group which operates coffeeshops. The Straits Times understands that he is no longer working with the company.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Andrew Low told the court that NRT Group had earlier taken over a coffeeshop at Block 279, Sengkang East Avenue and its opening ceremony was held on Jan 24, 2018.

Thomas Lee was at the eatery around 2.40pm that day when Mr Lee, who was asking for a job, lightly tugged the shirt of the younger man.

DPP Low said: "The accused turned around, swung his right hand and gave a hard slap to (Mr Lee). As a result, (Mr Lee) fell backwards and hit the ground with a loud 'bang'.

"The accused... admitted that he had swung his arm with 'force larger than normal' as he wanted to make (Mr Lee) feel pain so that he would not disturb the accused anymore. The accused also admitted that he wanted (Mr Lee) 'to remember the lesson better through pain'."

Mr Lee went home with his mother when he regained consciousness.

 
 

She took him to a nearby clinic as he was vomiting and bleeding from his nose. He was also non-communicative.

A doctor called for an ambulance and he was rushed to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital where he was found with brain injuries and a fractured skull.

He was warded until Feb 19, 2018, before he was sent to Grace Lodge nursing home where he is still staying.

Besides this incident, Thomas Lee also admitted to two other unrelated offences.

On Jan 22, 2018, he purposely kicked a motorcycle and caused damage, including to its right brake.

Six months later, he assaulted a 40-year-old man.

His lawyers Josephus Tan and Cory Wong from Invictus Law Corporation stated in their mitigation plea that he was "very remorseful", and pleaded for him to be given not more than three months' jail and a fine of $2,300.

They also said his wife had given birth to their third child on Wednesday.

For each count of assault, he could have been jailed up to two years and fined a maximum of $5,000.