SINGAPORE — He asked a woman to go home with him after they barhopped together but attacked her in public when she refused.
Gel See Toh Jia Yao, 32, then dragged the 27-year-old woman by her hair at the taxi stand of The Central, Clarke Quay, in full view of bystanders.
See Toh was fined $5,000 on Monday (13 September) on one count of causing hurt to the woman.
On 24 August 2019, See Toh, the woman and a female friend of hers, also 27, met for drinks at The Central. The trio had beer each at a bar called SQUE. At about 11.30pm, the trio then went to another bar called Hermano, where they met with two of See Toh’s friends.
See Toh and his two friends shared a bottle of whiskey before the entire group headed to Tipsy Cow bar for more drinks. They then had supper at a nearby eatery.
The group dispersed a while later, leaving the woman and See Toh at The Central's taxi stand at about 3.20am on 25 August. By this time, See Toh had begun to hug and grope the woman. He asked her to go home with him but she refused, agitating the intoxicated man.
He put the woman in a neck lock and flung her to the ground before dragging her by her hair across a walkway. His violence was captured on an in-car camera of a vehicle at the taxi stand.
The victim screamed and bystanders intervened. The victim sought medical attention and was diagnosed with bruising on her left hand, mild wrist tenderness, mild left elbow tenderness, and mild head bruises. She was discharged with six days of outpatient hospitalisation leave.
The prosecution noted the brutality of the attack carried out in full public view, and sought the maximum fine amount that was imposed by the court. The threshold to warrant a jail sentence is not crossed on account of the victim's relatively minor injuries, the prosecution said.
See Toh’s lawyer, Kalidass Murugaiyan, agreed with the proposed sentence, saying that the attack was not premeditated, and See did not display “viciousness or cruelty”.
Kalidass pointed out that the attack was very short and that the victim was not particularly vulnerable. See Toh was also remorseful and cooperated with the authorities during investigations. He has since pleaded guilty and saved the court time and expenses, the lawyer added.
Voluntarily causing hurt carries jail term of up to three years, or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
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