SINGAPORE: A 72-year-old woman was found guilty on Thursday (Aug 17) of assaulting a driver when he refused to make way for her Ferrari along Telok Ayer Street.
In 2014, Shi Ka Yee honked at and shouted at the driver, 39-year-old Raphael Chong Yen Ping, before getting out of her red sports car and reaching through the window of Mr Chong’s BMW to punch him in the face.
He suffered a cut above his right eyebrow and was “in a state of shock”, he testified at Shi’s trial in June.
Shi left the scene before police arrived, driving off despite her claim that Mr Chong had not left enough room for her Ferrari to pass.
District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt rejected Shi’s defence – that she had “instinctively” slapped Mr Chong because he swore at her. “I accept the victim’s evidence that she punched him in the face,” Judge Chay said.
“It was a punch, not a slap, and (Mr Chong) did not use profanities,” the judge added, noting Mr Chong’s testimony was “fully corroborated” by an eyewitness.
For causing hurt, Shi could be jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to S$5,000.
SHI FACES MORE CHARGES FOR HARASSMENT, TRESPASS, WRONGFUL RESTRAINT
Shi faces six more charges unrelated to the incident, including for harassing her neighbour, Mr Nasrat Lucas Muzayyin, and trespassing on his property.
The incident involved a rain tree on Shi’s property at 12 Astrid Hill, which had branches hanging over the Muzayyins’ property next door. When Mr Muzayyin hired an arborist to trim the branches of the tree, Shi allegedly told him: “You cut my tree, my tree is living thing, I hope your kids die (sic).”
Shi also removed the key from the ignition of the arborist’s cherry picker, leaving the man stranded up on the raintree for an hour.
To stop Shi from getting away, Mr Muzayyin stood in front of her Porsche as she prepared to drive off, but this did not stop her. Instead, Shi revved her engine and edged her car towards him.
The neighbours’ dispute ended up before the High Court after Mr Muzayyin sued Shi “for the nuisance of her ever-growing rain tree”, for Shi’s trespass onto his land and for assault, because Shi had put him “in fear of injury”.
Mr Muzayyin won, and Shi was ordered to pay thousands in damages. Shi’s appeal was later blocked by the High Court. Justice Choo Han Teck said: “There is no merit in letting this case incur any more court time when cases with greater social issues are waiting in line.”
Shi was subsequently slapped with criminal charges arising out of the incident on Feb 17, 2015.
She faces another two charges for allegedly stopping her car in the middle of Orchard Road, bringing traffic to a halt, to tell another driver to “return to China”.
These charges will be dealt with separately at a later date.