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Man jailed 5 days for punching, slapping primary school boy who rode bicycle on pathway: Report

Man jailed 5 days for punching, slapping primary school boy who rode bicycle on pathway: Report

File photo of a bicycle in Singapore. (Photo: iStock)

SINGAPORE: A 67-year-old man has been sentenced to five days' jail after assaulting a primary school student whom he saw cycling on a pathway near a public housing block, according to TODAY

Chua Chek Yong was sentenced on Thursday (Sep 2) after pleading guilty to voluntarily causing hurt to a person aged under 14.

TODAY reported that Chua first spotted the boy cycling on a pathway near Block 438 Hougang Avenue 8 on Nov 13, 2020. Chua told the boy that he should not be riding there but on the pavement instead. The boy followed his advice and left.

"In actuality, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) had confirmed that cycling was allowed on the track," TODAY reported Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En as saying.

A week later on Nov 20, Chua saw the boy cycling on the same pathway. Chua told the boy that he would deflate the tyres of his bicycle if he caught him cycling there again, prompting the boy to cycle away, according to TODAY.

Chua saw the boy on the pathway again 15 minutes later and blocked him, telling him to turn around and cycle away, reported TODAY.

The boy asked why he was not allowed to cycle there. When Chua challenged him to call the police, the boy tried to protest that LTA allowed cycling there. Chua responded with "I said" and "Government said", according to TODAY.

While the boy was in the middle of explaining LTA's policy on cycling, Chua slapped his face, reported TODAY.

TODAY reported that the boy had filmed the altercation on his mobile phone, and this footage was played in court.

Chua tried to snatch the boy's phone, causing it to drop. When the boy tried to retrieve it, Chua punched his face and head. The boy then got off his bicycle and Chua punched him in the chest and torso several times, TODAY reported.

The boy did not retaliate. After Chua walked away, a passer-by, Mr Chiang Kai Li, approached the boy to see if he was alright. Mr Chiang also offered to be a witness and asked the boy to call his parents, according to TODAY.

When the boy's father arrived, he watched the video his son had taken of the altercation. Spotting Chua in the area, the boy's father and Chua had an exchange about the incident.

During their exchange, Chua apologised and said that if the boy's father was unhappy with how he had hit his son, he could beat him, TODAY cited Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong as saying.

Paramedics later attended to the boy, who suffered abrasions and redness at his jaw area. He was taken to the hospital for treatment, reported TODAY.

"CLASSIC CASE OF BULLYING"

When interviewed by police officers, Chua initially admitted that he had slapped the boy but denied punching him, reported TODAY.

In mitigation, Chua's lawyer Noor Marican asked for a fine or the lowest possible jail sentence, citing Chua's poor health and cooperation with investigations.

Mr Marican told the court that Chua had "wanted to teach the child to be law-abiding and not cycle in this manner but he got it wrong", according to TODAY.

The lawyer also argued that Chua had shown genuine remorse by paying the boy's medical bills amounting to S$120.

However, District Judge Janet Wang noted that Chua had been "less than forthcoming until he realised an independent witness bore witness to the assault", TODAY reported.

Chua also "taunted" the boy's father to beat him up in return, lending support to a lack of genuine remorse on his part, she reportedly said.

Describing Chua's reaction as disproportionate and a "classic case of bullying", District Judge Wang nevertheless took into account Chua's timely plea of guilt and lack of past convictions, according to TODAY.

Chua could have been jailed up to six years, fined up to S$10,000 or both.

Source: CNA/dv

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