Twins lose appeal against condo assault conviction

Twins Tang Bei (left) and Tang Lei had been fined for assaulting the staff of Simei Green condo in 2015. They claimed yesterday that the staff had provoked their attack, which was caught on video and went viral online.
Twins Tang Bei (left) and Tang Lei had been fined for assaulting the staff of Simei Green condo in 2015. They claimed yesterday that the staff had provoked their attack, which was caught on video and went viral online.

A pair of twin sisters who were fined for assaulting the staff of Simei Green condominium lost their appeals against their conviction yesterday, 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 argued 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 nationality, ethnicity or religion.

In this case, there was no grave and sudden provocation that would clear the sisters of the charges, he said.

As for their grievances that others involved were not prosecuted, the judge said the court could deal only with the charges before it.

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

The incident on April 28, 2015, was caught on video and went viral.

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

Tang Lei was convicted of causing hurt to Mr Quek as well as spitting at and splashing a drink on him, and causing hurt to Mr Bligh.

The sisters assaulted and spat on Mr Quek when a meeting at the condominium's management office over an access card turned ugly.

 
 

Tang Lei also threw the contents of her canned drink at Mr Quek, who - having had previous encounters with Tang Bei - decided to film the meeting with his mobile phone.

The women attacked Mr Bligh when he stepped into the office. Mr Quek was later treated for bruises and abrasions.

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

Tang Bei claimed that Mr Quek was the real instigator who had taunted her verbally before the video recording started. She also alleged that he had molested her on a previous occasion and that she was exercising her "basic right to react".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2019, with the headline 'Twins lose appeal against condo assault conviction'. Print Edition | Subscribe