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Private-hire driver fined for verbally abusing, punching Thomson condo security guard

SINGAPORE — A judge on Thursday (Aug 4) warned a private-hire driver to “mellow out” and manage his emotions, before sentencing him to a S$3,000 fine for verbally abusing a condominium security officer.

A view of the 368 Thomson condominium complex where Mohamed Salim Shahul Hameed verbally abused and assaulted a security officer on March 7, 2022.

A view of the 368 Thomson condominium complex where Mohamed Salim Shahul Hameed verbally abused and assaulted a security officer on March 7, 2022.

SINGAPORE — A judge on Thursday (Aug 4) warned a private-hire driver to “mellow out” and manage his emotions, before sentencing him to a S$3,000 fine for verbally abusing a condominium security officer.

Mohamed Salim Shahul Hameed, 58, had punched Mr Ruban Minindeh and flashed a vulgar gesture at him as well.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of harassing the 29-year-old Malaysian. Another charge of voluntarily causing hurt was taken into consideration for sentencing.

The incident happened on the evening of March 7 this year when Salim drove to the 368 Thomson condo complex to pick up a passenger, the court heard.

When he stopped his car at the entrance gantry and sounded his horn, Mr Ruban, who was stationed at the guardhouse beside the entrance, tried to speak to him from the guardhouse window.

Salim appeared not to have heard him, so Mr Ruban left the guardhouse to ask why he sounded the horn.

Salim grew upset and started cursing. Mr Ruban then stepped away and called the police for assistance.

Salim then parked his car at the roadside outside the condo complex, walked to the guardhouse, made a vulgar gesture at Mr Ruban and returned to his vehicle.

Mr Ruban then decided to take a video of the car's registration number because he did not note it down earlier.

When he started recording a video of the car, Salim shouted angrily at him and alighted once more to confront him.

He punched the security officer once on the face and shouted a mix of Hokkien and English vulgarities.

His actions were caught on the condo’s closed-circuit television cameras.

State Prosecuting Officer Lam Peng Choy said that Salim has 32 records of past offences, mostly for traffic violations and convictions under the Women’s Charter.

He was given probation in 1991 for assaulting a public servant to deter him from his duty.

District Judge Ong Luan Tze agreed with the prosecution that although his past records were mostly of a non-violent nature, it was not the first time that he had appeared in court for a violence-related offence.

She also told Salim that given his age, it was time for him to "mellow out”. She added that everyone goes through “difficult times” but that he should “manage his emotions”.

Salim told the court in his mitigation plea that he was remorseful and would never do such a thing again. He is still driving a private-hire vehicle for a living.

For using insulting words towards Mr Ruban, Salim could have been jailed for up to six months or fined up to S$5,000, or both.

The incident is part of a rise in reported cases of abuse against security officers.

The Union of Security Employees said last month that compared to nine reported cases last year, it has so far handled 21 cases this year through its customer service centre and mobile application. The app was launched to report abuse late last year.

Amendments to the Private Security Act, which provide for stiffer penalties for those who harass or insult security officers, took effect in May this year.

Related topics

court crime security officer security guard harass verbal abuse condominium

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