Nine-month probation for Amos Yee's attacker

Loke was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.
Loke was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

A teenager who attacked blogger Amos Yee at a Jurong West mall last May was ordered to undergo nine months of probation yesterday.

Bryon Loke Thong Ler, now 19, had confronted Mr Yee, then 17, for taking a video of him at Jurong Point. Loke was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service. His parents, who were in court, placed a $5,000 bond to ensure his compliance.

Loke had earlier pleaded guilty to using criminal force on Mr Yee, who is now 18, between noon and 12.50pm on May 29 last year.

The court had called for a probation report. Yesterday, the court heard that the report showed Loke would be suitable for probation.

In mitigation, Loke's lawyer Chitra Balakrishnan said her client is from a humble background and had "lived life in relative anonymity until now".

She added that he has done well in his studies and is highly regarded by his cadet mates and reporting officers.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Teo Lu Jia did not object to probation.

Loke and his girlfriend were at a Value Dollar shop on the day of the attack when he sensed that Mr Yee was looking at him.

He decided to take a photo of Mr Yee to prove that the teen was "stalking" him.

When Mr Yee asked Loke if he was taking his photo, Loke said he was not. Loke then saw Mr Yee pointing his mobile phone at him before leaving the shop.

Outside the shop, Loke tried to stop Mr Yee by grabbing the teen's hands. Shortly after, Mr Yee broke free from Loke's grip and ran into an NTUC FairPrice outlet.

Loke called the police, saying Mr Yee had taken a video of him.

After Loke paid for his item at the Value Dollar shop, he realised that Mr Yee had left the supermarket.

He chased Mr Yee, arm-locked him and held him tightly from the back. He also used his body to block Mr Yee from moving away.

In her sentencing submissions to the court earlier, DPP Teo had said: "The fact that the victim is not in Singapore (now) does not detract from the need to convey the message that individuals should not take the law into their own hands."

Mr Yee is seeking political asylum in the United States.

He has been detained at a jail in Woodstock, Illinois, until his asylum hearing on March 7.

For using criminal force against a person, Loke could have been sentenced to three months' jail and a $1,500 fine.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2017, with the headline 'Nine-month probation for Amos Yee's attacker'. Print Edition | Subscribe