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PP v Eddy Syahputra [2012] SGDC 214

PP v Eddy Syahputra [2012] SGDC 214

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Published by: Gavin Ng on Jul 20, 2012
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7/20/12 LawNet Legal Research1/7www.lawnet.com.sg/lrweb/tools.do?subaction=lrLp2ToolsShowPrint&docid=http://plwblg22:9990/…
Public Prosecutor v Eddy Syahputra[2012] SGDC 214
Suit No
:MCN 667 of 2011
Decision Date
:25 June 2012
:District Court
:Liew Thiam Leng
:DPP Mr Lee Zu Zhao for the Prosecution; Accused in person.
25 June 2012
District Judge Liew Thiam Leng:
1 The accused is facing a charge of causing hurt under section 323 of the Penal Code (Cap.224).He claimed trial to the charge and at the end of the trial, he was sentenced to 3 weeks imprisonment.He is appealing against the conviction and sentence.
The Prosecution’s Case
2 On 24
October, 2010 at about 3.50pm, the victim (PW2 Lim Hwee Shing) was driving along thecarpark at Great World City with his family. As he was approaching basement 3 of the carpark, henoticed the accused’s vehicle in front. The accused was having difficulties driving along the basementat the car park as he was driving a big car. Subsequently, the accused stopped his car without parkingand alighted from his car which was blocking the path of the victim’s car. The accused approached thevictim in a violent manner and shouting at him. The accused then asked the victim why he could notsee that he was driving a big car and that he was trying his best to park his car. An argument ensuedand the accused then challenged the victim for a fight . The accused started to assume a boxingstance and asked the victim to come out of his car and have a fight. As the victim was concerned withhis family members who were in his car, he alighted from his car to speak to the accused. The accusedcontinued shouting and according to the victim, the accused was standing very close to him and someof the accused’s saliva was touching his face. Thereupon, the accused punched the victim on the rightside of his head, resulting in the latter falling onto the floor. Meanwhile, the victim’s wife who wasseated in the car with her children and mother saw the whole incident and shouted at them to stopthe fight. The accused’s mother in law also alighted from the vehicle and pleaded with the accused notto beat her son in law. In the process, the victim’s mother in law fell on the floor but she got upimmediately. The victim’s wife PW1 then shouted that the police had been informed and will be arrivingshortly. The accused then got back to his car with his brother DW2 who had also alighted from theircar earlier on. Subsequently, the police arrived and spoke to the respective parties concerned.3 At the end of the prosecution’s case, the court was satisfied that the prosecution had made outa prima facie case for the calling of the defence which if unrebutted would warrant a conviction.Defence was called and after the caution was administered to the accused, he elected to giveevidence on oath.
The Defence
4 The defence was that there was provocation from the victim and that the accused did notchallenge the victim to a fight. On the day in question,he was walking towards the victim as he wantedto explain to the victim that he had to drive slowly at the car park as he was driving a big car and thecar park was at a curved angle which made it difficult to park. The accused claimed that he hadapproached the victim nicely but the latter was angry and told him so what if he was driving a big car.Subsequently, the victim alighted from his car and according to the accused, the victim pushed him on
7/20/12 LawNet Legal Research2/7www.lawnet.com.sg/lrweb/tools.do?subaction=lrLp2ToolsShowPrint&docid=http://plwblg22:9990/…
his chest resulting in the accused falling onto the bonnet of a car which was parked there. Theaccused alleged that as he got up from the car bonnet, the victim spat at him and in response, hepunched the victim. The accused denied approaching the victim in a violent manner and asserted thathe did not assume a boxing stance to challenge the victim to fight. The accused’s brother DW2 TonyChong who was with him as well as his wife DW3 and is sister in law DW4 alleged that they had seenthe incident although DW3 and DW4 were seated at the rear of the accused’s car.
The evidence of the victim PW2 Lim Hwee Shing
5 The victim’s evidence was that on the day of the incident, he was driving his car along basement2 of the Great World City car park towards basement 3. He noticed that the accused’s car which was infront was having difficulties driving past the ramp at basement 2 and while waiting for the accused’scar to move forward, he could hear the vehicle behind him horning persistently. The victim tapped hishorn once to indicate to the driver behind him that he was waiting for the accused’s car to moveforward. After the accused had moved past the ramp, he proceeded to basement 3 and parked his carat a stop sign. The accused’s car was parked in such a way that it was obstructing the victim andprevented the victim from moving his car forward. Subsequently, the accused walked briskly towardshim and shouted at him. The victim wound down his car window and wanted to explain to the accused.The accused then asked the victim why he was horning and why he could not see him trying to drivehis big car round the ramp. The victim tried to explain to the accused that it was the vehicle behind himwhich was horning but the accused refused to listen and kept shouting and hurling vulgarities at thevictm. The victim then wound up his car window as he did not want his daughter and mother in lawwho were inside the car to hear what the accused was saying. The victim decided to alight from his carto reason with the accused as the latter’s car was blocking his car. When the victim came out of hiscar, he turned his body to face the accused. The victim could feel that the accused was very close tohis face as he could feel the accused’s body heat and sweat. As the accused was very close to thevictim, the latter put up his 2 hands to prevent the accused from coming any closer towards him.Before the victim could speak to the accused, the latter was hurling vulgarities at him. The victim couldfeel the accused’s sweat and saliva spitting on his whole face. Once the victim felt that the accused’ssaliva was coming to his mouth, he was angry and asked the accused whether he knew that his salivawas touching his (victim’s) face. The victim stated that at this time, his mouth was full of saliva and inthe process of talking to the accused who was very close to him, his saliva touched the accused’s face.The victim tried to get the accused to be away from his body and in the next instant, the accusedmoved slightly backward and punched the victim on the left side of his face. The punch caused thevictim’s spectacles to fly off and lost balance. The accused got up and shouted at the accused askinghim what he was doing that for. At this stage, the victim’s wife came and held him back while hismother in law rushed forward to try and hold the accused back. After the victim had got up from theaccused’s punch, the victim stated that the accused was still very aggressive and asked him to go tothe side and fight with him one to one. The accused was still shouting and making some movements.The victim’s wife then called the police. While the victim was waiting for the police to arrive, theaccused came to the victim’s car and asked him why don’t they settle the matter peacefully. The victimtold the accused that at this stage, he had already reported to the police and as he was punched, hedid not wish to settle the matter. The victim told the accused that he was going to sue him for theassault. When the victim said that, the accused became angry and challenged the victim to go to thecorner and fight again. The accused was still shouting and aggressive. The victim did not respond. Thepolice arrived eventually and the victim was advised to go to the hospital to examine his injuries. Thevictim had bleeding behind his ear which was swollen and painful. On the next day, the victim’s nosestarted to bleed and was told by the doctor that it was caused by the bursting of the blood vessels inhis nose.
Corroboration of the victim PW2’s evidence
6 The victim’s evidence was corroborated by his wife PW1 Wong Lye Fan, his mother in law PW6Low Kwee Wah and an independent witness who was the driver of the vehicle behind the victim’s car
7/20/12 LawNet Legal Research3/7www.lawnet.com.sg/lrweb/tools.do?subaction=lrLp2ToolsShowPrint&docid=http://plwblg22:9990/…
PW7 Anthony Ariffin. First of all, there is no dispute by the defence that the accused had punched thevictim on the day of the incident. The independent witness PW7 who was the driver of the vehiclebehind the victim’s car gave evidence that he had horned his vehicle as well as the vehicles behind himsince they were held up at the car park by the vehicles in front ie the victim’s car and the accused’scar. PW7 could see the accused alighting from his car and approaching the victim’s car in a violentmanner. He could see the accused indicating to the victim to have fight as the accused was assuminga boxer stance. He had seen the victim coming out of his car and when both the victim and theaccused were together, he could see the victim pushing his chest forward and the next moment, theaccused punched the victim causing him to fall. The independent witness, PW7 confirmed that thevictim did not hit the accused in any way as the victim was merely holding up his 2 hands. This tied upwith the victim’s evidence that he had put up his hands to prevent the accused from coming closertowards him as he could feel the accused’s body heat and sweat. Likewise, PW7 did not see the victimpushing the accused as alleged, neither did he see the victim spitting at the accused. PW7 alsoconfirmed that after the punch, the accused was seen assuming a boxing stance as if challenging thevictim to a fight again. The court had observed the demeanour of the independent witness PW7 andwas satisfied that he was an impartial and truthful witness. His account of the incident supported thevictim’s evidence and he had stated that he did not know the victim or the accused before the incident.There was no reason for PW7 to lie in court.7 The victim’s wife PW1 and his mother in law PW6 also corroborated the victim’s evidence that theaccused had punched the victim and the latter did not hit the victim at all. In fact, PW6 who was thevictim’s mother in law had to plead with the accused not to hit the victim after the punch by theaccused. Quite clearly, there is no evidence to suggest that there was provocation by the victim whichwould justify a punch from the accused. At best, the accused was irritated by the victim and the punchby the accused was clearly out of proportion in the circumstances of the case. Moreover, as can beseen the accused was a violent person as confirmed by the independent witness PW7 who statedthat he could see the accused approaching the victim’s car in a violent manner and assuming a boxingstance on 2 occasions.
Defence evidence
8 The defence did not dispute that the accused had punched the victim on the day of the incident.Neither did they dispute that their car was holding up vehicles at the rear when they were at thebasement car park of Great World City. The defence had alleged that the victim had pushed him at thecar park resulting in him falling on the bonnet of a car coupled with the victim spitting on him and hehad to punch the victim to stop him from doing that. The accused claimed that as a result of the pushby the victim, he had chest pains and that after falling on the bonnet of a car which was parked there,he had suffered bruise on his buttocks. The evidence in this case was clearly demolished by theindependent witness PW7 who was behind the victim’s car as he could see the accused approachingthe victim in a violent manner and he could see the accused was acting like a boxer and challengingthe victim to face him instead of sitting in the car. PW7 could see that both the accused and the victimwere exchanging words culminating in the accused punching the victim on his head. PW7 could seethat as a result of the punch, the victim’s spectacles had flown off. The independent witness PW7 hadconfirmed that he did not see the victim pushing or spitting at the accused. Instead, he had seen theviolent behaviour of the accused right from the time when he was seen approaching the victim to thetime when the punch was delivered. The accused was the aggressor and was seen adopting a boxerstance twice before and after the punch on the victim. Although the victim’s wife and mother in lawcommented that the victim could be hot tempered if provoked, there is no evidence in the present casethat the victim had pushed the accused or hit the accused in any way. Moreover, there is no medicalevidence to show that the accused had suffered any injuries , neither did he seek any medicaltreatment. In fact, all the defence witnesses including the accused confirmed that the victim did not hitthe accused at all.9 The court noted that the accused had given evidence in court which is inconsistent with his

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