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Man fined S$5,000 for drunkenly assaulting friend after she rejected his advances

SINGAPORE — A 32-year-old man was fined the maximum S$5,000 on Monday (Sept 13) for assaulting his female friend after a night out drinking in the Clarke Quay area two years ago.

Man fined S$5,000 for drunkenly assaulting friend after she rejected his advances

The court heard that Gel See Toh Jia Yao and the victim had been drinking with friends before he assaulted her at a taxi stand.

  • Gel See Toh Jia Yao assaulted his female friend when she turned down his request to go home with him
  • The incident followed an evening of drinking in the Clarke Quay area
  • See Toh initially claimed trial but pleaded guilty after the victim testified

 

SINGAPORE — A 32-year-old man was fined the maximum S$5,000 on Monday (Sept 13) for assaulting his female friend after a night out drinking in the Clarke Quay area two years ago.

Gel See Toh Jia Yao had hugged and groped the victim. When she rejected his advances, he put her in a “neck lock”, flung her to the ground and dragged her by her hair across a walkway outside The Central mall.

The Singaporean initially claimed trial but midway through, he pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to the 27-year-old woman, who had already testified against him.

District Judge Ow Yong Tuck Leong also ordered him to pay S$500 in compensation to her.

On Monday, the court heard that the pair and their female friend met for drinks at the mall along Eu Tong Sen Street on the evening of Aug 24, 2019.

They went to a bar and had two pints of beer each, before going to another nearby bar to meet two of See Toh’s friends.

The group shared a bottle of whiskey before going to a third bar at 1am for more drinks.

About an hour later, they left to have supper at a nearby eatery. When they were done, they headed to the taxi stand at The Central.

The pair’s friend left first, leaving See Toh and the victim behind.

He soon asked her to go home with him, and began to hug and grope her. When she refused to follow him home, he grew agitated and assaulted her, including dragging her across the walkway.

Footage of the incident, captured by an in-car camera of a vehicle that had stopped at the taxi stand, was played in court. It showed the victim screaming for help and kicking See Toh while on the ground.

Bystanders stepped in to separate her from him.

She went to Sengkang General Hospital for treatment. A doctor from the hospital’s department of emergency medicine, who had examined her, stated in a medical report that she had suffered multiple bruises on her hand, wrist, elbow and head.

She was admitted and discharged after observation, with six days of outpatient hospitalisation leave.

The authorities obtained a blood sample from See Toh at about 11.30am that day. An analysis revealed that his blood alcohol level was 51 milligrams per 100ml.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Darren Sim sought the fine imposed, arguing that the attack had been one-sided and unprovoked, and noting the significant potential harm if members of the public had not intervened.

He also said that if See Toh had not pleaded guilty at this stage, he would have received jail time upon conviction, given the shocking manner of the assault.

The prosecution did not seek jail time given the relatively minor injuries suffered by the victim.

See Toh’s lawyer Kalidass Murugaiyan similarly asked for the fine, saying in mitigation that his actions were not deliberate or premeditated, and he had not shown viciousness or cruelty. “Gel continues to regret his actions and is willing to take responsibility for them,” the defence counsel added.

When the judge asked See Toh — who appeared in court dressed in a suit — what he thought about a compensation order, he replied that he would leave it in the judge’s hands. He added that he had been “feeling great remorse” and had not intended to cause hurt.

He could have been jailed for up to two years or fined up to S$5,000, or both.

Related topics

court crime assault alcohol

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