A 23-year-old Singaporean man was given a one-day jail sentence and a S$3,000 fine for repeatedly punching two fellow moviegoers — one of them in the face, after he was unhappy when they asked him to stop shaking his leg.
Clifton Wong Jun Han pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday, Dec. 3, to two charges of voluntarily causing hurt by punching Lee Sin Fatt in the face and Lee's wife, Lim Chew Leng, in the arm.
Moviegoing experience turns sour
According to court documents shared with Mothership, the incident happened on August 1 at around 5:00pm, when Lee, Lim and Wong were watching a movie at Shaw Theatres at the Seletar Mall in Sengkang.
Wong and his wife happened to be seated directly next to Lee and Lim.
During the movie, Wong shook his leg continuously, which disturbed Lee and Lim as this made their seats move, so Lee asked Wong to stop.
After the movie ended at around 5:50 PM, Wong and his wife got up to leave the theatre. Wong claimed that he accidentally tripped over and stepped on Lee's foot, but Lee did not respond.
Punched victim in the face
As Wong walked away, he turned back to Lee, saying, "kua lan jiao" (loosely translated as: Stare c*ck). Lee ignored Wong and did not respond.
Wong then confronted Lee, repeatedly punching him in the face. Lim tried to step in and stop the attack on her husband, and was punched in the arm several times by Wong.
Wong only stopped his assault after he was held back by his wife and several bystanders. Security officers intervened shortly afterward.
The police also received a call at about 5:52 PM, with the caller saying the following:
“We are watching movie. One guy about 30s beat up the auntie and uncle. Quite bad. Both auntie and uncle are injured. You all have to come down."
Lee and Lim were sent to Sengkang General Hospital, where Lee was found to have bruising on his face and back of his head, while Lim suffered bruising on her arm.
Wong had compensated Lee & Lim
According to CNA, Wong's lawyer Gino Hardial Singh asked for a fine of up to S$5,000 instead of a jail term.
Singh reportedly explained that Wong, who was working as a fireman with Changi Airport Group and had no prior convictions, was under "considerable stress".
His wife was reportedly three months pregnant at the time and was suffering heavy bouts of bleeding, leading to concerns about their unborn child's well-being.
In addition, CNA reported that Wong had recently given up smoking and was dealing with withdrawal symptoms at the time.
Singh also reportedly said that Wong's behaviour was out of character.
"For some reason he himself is unable to explain, he just snapped," he was quoted saying.
He also reportedly added that Wong had provided voluntary compensation to Lee and Lim already, and that no permanent harm had been caused by Wong's actions.
Judge said jail term was needed
However, District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt agreed with prosecutors that a jail term was necessary. He was quoted in CNA saying:
"As highlighted by the prosecution, this was anti-social behaviour. The accused became vulgar, violent, and not only attacked the victim but also turned on the victim's wife."
For voluntarily causing hurt, Wong could have been imprisoned for up to two years, fined up to S$5,000, or both.
Top image via Shaw Theatres website
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