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Couple charged with harassing nurse neighbour by shouting 'COVID spreader', spraying disinfectant

Couple charged with harassing nurse neighbour by shouting 'COVID spreader', spraying disinfectant

Cheang Eng Hock (left) and Lim Sok Hay at State Courts on May 21, 2021. (Photo: TODAY/Nuria Ling)

SINGAPORE: A man and a woman were charged on Friday (May 21) with harassing their neighbours, one of whom is a nurse at Sengkang General Hospital.

Cheang Eng Hock, 56, received two charges of intentionally causing harassment. His wife Lim Sok Lay, 48, was given five similar charges and one count of public nuisance. 

They are accused of using insulting words and behaviour against their neighbours at a Punggol HDB block in May 2020 by shouting: "COVID", "COVID spreader", "virus" or "virus family". They also allegedly sprayed disinfectant solution in their neighbours' direction.

They are also accused of using insulting words against a man at Sengkang General Hospital by uttering: "This nurse gangster", "this nurse no good" and "this nurse very bad" on Jan 8, 2021.

A screenshot of an Instagram post showing alleged acts of harassment by a couple against their neighbours. (Photo: Instagram/jibby4g)

Lim is also accused of cursing at her neighbours in November and spraying disinfectant at her neighbours in October and December last year.

The judge ordered Lim to be remanded at the Institute of Mental  Health for two weeks for psychiatric assessment at the prosecution's request.

He offered Cheang bail of S$5,000 with the condition that he must not contact his neighbours directly or indirectly, nor any of the prosecution's witnesses.

Cheang Eng Hock at State Courts on May 21, 2021. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

Their neighbours, the nurse and his wife, had reported harassment to the police in May last year. They filed more police reports about the alleged harassment between October 2020 and January 2021, even though both sets of neighbours had attended mediation in June 2020.

Sengkang General Hospital said in a Facebook post in May last year that the nurse had lodged a police report, noting a video posted about the neighbour's behaviour.

The hospital said its medical workers deserve consideration, respect, and a safe environment both at work and at home and called on the public to respect such workers.

The police said in an earlier media release that they had remained in contact with all involved parties and advised them to minimise contact and interactions with each other.

If convicted of intentionally causing harassment, Cheang and Lim could each be jailed up to six months, fined up to S$5,000, or both per charge.

Source: CNA/ll(ac)

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