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Man spits on and assaults wife outside daughter’s preschool, principal tried but couldn’t separate both

SINGAPORE — A father was planning to see his five-year-old daughter so that he could give her some cookies, but he ended up breaching a personal protection order that his wife had taken up against him by assaulting her outside their daughter’s preschool.

Goh Ching Beng, who pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt to his ex-wife, will be back in court in August for his sentencing.

Goh Ching Beng, who pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt to his ex-wife, will be back in court in August for his sentencing.

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  • A father went to see his daughter at a preschool and ended up attacking and kicking his wife
  • Psychiatric reports found that the man suffers from a major depressive disorder
  • The court has called for a report to assess whether he is suitable for a mandatory treatment order due to this mental condition

        

SINGAPORE — A father was planning to see his five-year-old daughter so that he could give her some cookies, but he ended up breaching a personal protection order that his wife had taken up against him by assaulting her outside their daughter’s preschool.

On Tuesday (July 21), Goh Ching Beng, 58, pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt to his 35-year-old ex-wife, a second charge of using criminal force on her and a final charge of breaching a personal protection order.

A report was called to assess whether Goh is suitable for a mandatory treatment order, which is a community sentencing option offered to offenders suffering from mental conditions that contributed to the offence.

Goh remains out on a S$5,000 bail and will return to court on Aug 20 for his sentence.

The court heard that the incident happened on Feb 20 last year after Goh got permission from his wife, a Singapore permanent resident, to visit his daughter at the PCF Sparkletots Preschool on Tampines Street 42. He wanted to give the girl some cookies. 

It is not known if Goh was living apart from his daughter then, but Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Nicholas Lai said that the girl’s mother had taken out a personal protection order against Goh on April 26, 2017. Why she did that was not stated in court.

On the day of the altercation, both Goh and his wife had yet to reach the final judgement of their divorce, which was only made on April 6 last year, slightly over a month after the incident.

His wife approached him at the preschool at around 6pm and they soon got into an argument that became increasingly heated.

The preschool’s principal, Ms Karen Chin, then 62, sensed that things were going to get sour between the two and asked a teacher to usher the surrounding children into a classroom.

Goh got physical by first spitting on his wife’s face before he started choking her, which caused her to fall. 

While she was on the ground, Goh kicked her in the leg several times. She continued to yell at him in the meantime.

Ms Chin tried to intervene but was unsuccessful. The assault stopped only when a passer-by managed to pull Goh away from his wife.

The woman suffered several bruises on the limbs, but she did not want to be taken to the hospital or seek further medical attention, DPP Lai said.

The prosecutor also said that Goh was not a first-time offender, and had run afoul of the law on at least three other occasions. These offences include drink driving, committing acts of mischief and in one instance in 2003, using criminal force on a public servant to deter him from carrying out his duties.

Speaking on behalf of his client, defence lawyer Ashvin Hariharan said psychiatric reports found that Goh was suffering from a major depressive disorder, and they suggested that there was a causal link between the mood disorder and Goh’s offences.

The maximum penalty for voluntarily causing hurt is a jail term of up two years or a fine, or both.

For using criminal force on his wife by spitting on her face, Goh could be jailed for up to three months or fined up to S$1,500, or both.

For the charge of breaching a personal protection order, he could be fined up to S$2,000 or jailed up to six months, or both. 

Related topics

crime court family assault personal protection order

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