SINGAPORE: The couple who got into an ugly spat with an elderly man at a hawker centre in Toa Payoh was handed a S$2,700 fine on Friday (Aug 11).
Chow Chuin Yee, 46, was fined S$1,500 for using criminal force on 76-year-old Ng Ai Hua, by using his upper body to forcefully barge into Mr Ng.
Chow’s partner, Tay Puay Leng, 39, was fined S$1,200 for using abusive words on Mr Ng with the intent to cause alarm.
Video circulating widely on social media showed them arguing with the elderly man over the use of a table which Tay allegedly reserved. Chow was seen bumping into the elderly man from behind, nearly knocking him over.
Speaking to reporters outside the State Courts, Tay said tearfully that she wanted to apologise to Mr Ng in person. "But because the investigations were going on, the police did not allow me to do that. Therefore all I could ask was to pass the apology letter to the investigation officer (IO), hoping that it can be handed to uncle," she said.
Tay added that she "snapped" that day as she had been "going through a very tough time" as a sole caregiver to her 89-year-old grandmother, who is bedridden.
Chow, meanwhile, said his life has been "very, very difficult" since the incident. "There's no excuse for my behaviour. Even after watching the video, I feel disgusted with myself," he told reporters, adding that he too, would like to apologise to Mr Ng.
Both Chow and Tay were arrested in April after police said they received reports about a couple who used offensive language and force against a 76-year-old man at a hawker centre on Toa Payoh Lorong 8. They were charged on Jun 15.
For using criminal force on Mr Ng, Chow could have been jailed for up to three months, fined up to S$1,500, or both. He was also charged with behaving in a disorderly manner, which could have resulted in a jail term of up to six months, a fine of up to S$2,000, or both.
For using abusive words, Tay could have been jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$5,000, or both.