Off-duty police NSF pleads guilty to assaulting policeman, choking him for about 5 seconds

SINGAPORE - An off-duty full-time national serviceman (NSF) with the Singapore Police Force attacked a police officer after a night of merrymaking and, among other things, used his hands to choke the latter.

Assistant training instructor at the Special Operations Command Mohammad Jeffry Lui Azman, 21, pleaded guilty in court on Friday (Nov 1) to causing hurt to Staff Sergeant Kenneth Ong Thiam Jun, 31.

Around 1am on Jan 1 this year, Jeffry and two friends went to a nightspot called Club Nexus at the Oriental Plaza shopping centre in New Bridge Road where they shared three "towers" of beer and a bottle of liquor.

The trio left the club at around 3.30am and were near the entrance of the mall when Jeffry approached another group of men and started mumbling incoherently.

The court heard that he suddenly became agitated and raised his right fist, causing one of his friends to rush forward and pull him away.

His other friend apologised to the group and told them that Jeffry was drunk.

A group of police officers including Staff Sgt Ong later arrived at the scene due to the commotion.

Two of the officers were interviewing Jeffry and his friends when the NSF suddenly hurled an expletive at Staff Sgt Ong before challenging the older man to a fight.

Jeffry later shoved Staff Sgt Ong's shoulder and grabbed the latter's elbows.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Colin Ng said: "A struggle between the accused and complainant ensued, as the complainant tried to break free from the accused, who was holding onto the complainant's elbows.

"In the midst of the struggle, both the accused and complainant lost their balance and fell onto the ground. The complainant landed on his back, with the accused falling on top of the complainant."

Jeffry then placed his hands on Staff Sgt Ong's neck and choked him for about five seconds.

The other police officers in the vicinity stepped in and the NSF was arrested.

Staff Sgt Ong went to the Singapore General Hospital where he was found with injuries, including multiple marks on his neck and an abrasion on his left shoulder. He was given two days of medical leave.

On Friday, District Judge Ong Chin Rhu called for a report to assess Jeffry's suitability for probation.

The NSF is now out on bail of $5,000 and will be sentenced on Nov 26.

Offenders convicted of assaulting a public servant can be jailed for up to seven years and fined or caned.

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