New Zealander jailed for grabbing police officer's collar at Changi Airport

Travellers at the Departure Hall of Changi Airport Terminal 2.
Travellers at the Departure Hall of Changi Airport Terminal 2. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A drunk passenger who missed his flight to Bangkok while on transit here created a ruckus at Changi Airport and used criminal force on two policemen who attended to him.

Chef Scott Bradley Hannan, 37, a New Zealander, was sentenced to three weeks' jail on Wednesday (Aug 23) after admitting to grabbing the collar of Senior Staff Sergeant Tan Ah Han with intent to deter him from discharging his duty.

This happened at 8.08am on Aug 16, 2017 at the departure transit area of Terminal 2 of the airport.

Investigations showed that Hannan arrived at the airport from Australia and was in the transit area waiting for his flight to Thailand.

During his wait, he drank about eight pints of beer and took a nap.

When he woke up, he realised that he had missed his flight and went to the transfer counter to seek help, said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Quek Jing Feng.

He caused a commotion by spewing vulgarities, throwing his bag and kicking items, unhappy that he had to buy another flight ticket.

When Senior Staff SgtTan and his partner arrived, Hannan was drinking beer in the smoking room.

They took Hannan back to the transfer counter in an attempt to facilitate an amicable resolution of the matter, said DPP Quek.

But Hannan, who was drunk, continued to talk loudly and was uncooperative.

He became agitated and suddenly grabbed Senior Staff SgtTan's collar with his right hand. As a result, the radio set attached to the officer's epaulette fell onto the floor.

The two policemen moved back and advised Hannan to calm down, but he continued to be aggressive, and charged towards them.

Necessary force was then used to place him under arrest as he put up a violent struggle.

Hannan's lawyer Gino Hardial Singh said in mitigation that his client had rushed from Perth to Bangkok when he found out that his 2½-year-old son was suffering from pneumonia and had been hospitalised.

Hannan's wife-to-be and son live in Khon Kaen, Thailand, and their wedding will be held in Thailand in October.

"The combination of alcohol, anxiety and stress due to his son's hospitalisation, sleep deprivation and the shock of him missing his flight led to Scott behaving completely out of character," said Mr Singh.

Hannan regretted behaving the way he did and realised that what he did was "incredibly foolish", said the lawyer.

Three other charges, including being drunk in a public place and using threatening behaviour towardsSenior Staff Sgt Tan, were considered during sentencing.

Hannan, whose sentence was backdated to Aug 17, could have been jailed for up to four years and/or fined for using criminal force on a public servant.