Drunk man jailed for slapping woman on MRT train

A man who drank beer on the MRT train, slapped a female passenger and challenged her to a fight received a five-week jail sentence yesterday.

Ronny Bernard Gomes admitted to slapping the victim and conducting himself in such a manner as to cause annoyance to passengers on the train.

Shortly after boarding the train at Yishun MRT station on June 23 this year, he opened a can of beer and drank it. He appeared very drunk at the time.

When the train arrived at Yio Chu Kang station, he threw the can of beer under the seat and approached Malaysian Low Yan Qin, 20, hurling vulgarities and shouting at her.

He also tried to snatch her mobile phone which was on her lap. The victim immediately kept her phone in her pocket.

By then, many other passengers around had moved away from their seats. Ms Low moved to another train cabin when others signalled her to do so.

While she was sitting beside a 63-year-old woman, Gomes walked up to her and slapped her three times in the face.

He was also shouting and hurling vulgarities at the victim, and even challenged her to a fight at the next station.

The victim was rooted to her seat throughout, the court heard.

When the train arrived at Bishan station, Gomes was taken out of the train by a few people.

The assailant was arrested by the police.

The victim suffered pain and redness on her cheeks as a result of the assault.

Gomes' blood sample had an ethanol level of 212mg/100ml, which is about 21/2 times the legal limit for drink driving.

He could have been fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed for up to six months under the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act.

For causing hurt, he could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2017, with the headline 'Drunk man jailed for slapping woman on MRT train'. Print Edition | Subscribe