Twin sisters fined for assaulting condo staff lose appeal

Tang Lei (left) and her sister Tang Bei outside the court on Aug 28, 2018. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A pair of twin sisters who were fined for assaulting staff of Simei Green condominium lost their appeals against their conviction on Wednesday (July 3), after making emotionally-charged arguments for close to four hours.

Chinese nationals Tang Bei and Tang Lei, 51, claimed that they had been provoked into committing the offences. They also claimed that they were the real victims and were being treated unfairly because of their nationality.

But High Court judge Aedit Abdullah stressed that the courts in Singapore determine matters equally for all offenders, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity or religion.

What the courts seek to do is consider the law and the evidence, and in the current case, there was no grave and sudden provocation that would clear the sisters of the charges, he said.

As for the sisters' grievances that others involved in the incident were not prosecuted, the judge said the court can only deal with the charges before it.

Last year, Tang Bei was fined $2,100 and Tang Lei $2,500 by a district judge after a 20-day trial.

The incident, which took place at 11.40am on April 28, 2015, was caught on video, and widely shared.

Tang Bei was convicted of causing hurting to and spitting on condominium manager Colvin Quek Choon Kiat, as well as causing hurt to security officer Charles Kenneth Bligh.

Her sister was convicted of four charges: causing hurt to Mr Quek as well as spitting at and splashing a drink on him, and causing hurt to Mr Bligh.

In February 2015, Mr Quek spoke to Tang Bei as she was accused of tailgating others out of the side gate of the property, but she told him that it was none of his business.

Not long after, on Feb 25, 2015, she went to the management office to fill an application for a condominium access card. Mr Quek requested certain documents that were needed, but she turned aggressive and left without providing them.

She returned with Tang Lei weeks later on April 28 but refused to be served by Mr Quek.

Mr Quek then decided he should record a video of the meeting with his mobile phone, which he placed on a cabinet.

The confrontation soon turned ugly, with Tang Bei berating him, and the two sisters raining blows on him. They also spat in his face and Tang Lei splashed the contents of her canned drink on him. The women also assaulted Mr Bligh when he stepped into the office.

Mr Quek was treated for bruises and abrasions on his forehead.

On Wednesday, Tang Lei argued that the video could not prove that there was contact as it was taken from one angle and there could be optical illusions.

Tang Bei claimed that Mr Quek was the real "provoker" who had made verbal taunts at her before the video recording started.

She alleged that he had molested her at their earlier meeting and she was merely exercising her "basic right to react".

She added that Mr Quek was using the "incomplete" video to portray her as an unreasonable woman so that no one would believe her if she made a police report against him for molestation.

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