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Cheang Eng Hock and Lim Sok Lay, a married Singaporean couple, were fined on Tuesday (Feb. 8) for harassing their neighbour and his family.
Their neighbour was working as a nurse at Sengkang General Hospital (SKH) at the time.
According to The Straits Times, Cheang, 57, was fined S$1,200 for one harassment charge. Another charge was taken into consideration, reported CNA.
Lim, on the other hand, was fined a total of S$4,000 for three harassment charges and one count of being a public nuisance. Four other charges were taken into consideration.
Shouted "Covid spreader" and "virus family" at their neighbours
According to court documents seen by Mothership, Cheang and Lim had gotten into a verbal dispute with their neighbour and his wife between May 13 and May 15 2020.
In the course of the dispute, Cheang and Lim shouted "Covid, "Covid spreader", "virus" and "virus family" at the victim and his family.
Lim also sprayed Dettol disinfection liquid in towards their house.
Videos of the incident, which took place during Singapore's "circuit breaker" period, went viral on social media and prompted the neighbours to file police reports.
The victim lodged a report at Punggol Neighbourhood Police on May 15, 2020.
Two other harassment charges Lim faced
On the morning of Nov. 11 2020, Lim saw the victim outside his unit and got into a dispute with him.
She then started hurling vulgarities at the victim in a mix of Hokkien dialect, Malay and English.
According to court documents, some of the vulgarities Lim uttered included "c*bai" and "kepala puk*".
On Apr. 2021, Lim had once again sprayed disinfectant liquid from a spray bottle in the direction of the victim’s unit.
Public nuisance charge
Separately, court documents stated that Lim had also caused a public nuisance at a hair salon in Ngee Ann City in February 2021.
Her daughter used to work at the hair salon and was allegedly dismissed over a complaint made by one of the customers.
On Feb. 21, 2021, Lim went to the hair salon and demanded to speak to the customer, However, she was denied entry by a staff member.
Lim then slammed the door and entered the shop and shouted at the shop assistants.
Even after police officers arrived at the scene, she continued to raise her voice.
Prosecution asked for S$2,000 to S$2,500 fine
The prosecution had sought for a fine of S$2,000 to S$2,500 for both Lim and Cheang for their harassment offence in May 2020.
According to court documents, the prosecution explained that Singapore was at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when the dispute took place, and the comments made from Lim and Cheang were "clearly targeted at the victim and his occupation as a nurse".
"Such remarks are thoroughly uncalled for, especially against frontline medical staff who continue to play a role in combating Covid-19 today," the prosecution added.
However, as reported by ST, the defence counsel argued that the victim's occupation as a nurse was not the trigger for the dispute.
The defence stated that the victim's wife had brought migrant workers to stay in her home, at a time when infection rates in migrant worker dormitories were at an all-time high. This was the sole trigger for the dispute, the defence said.
According to ST, the court heard that the workers were temporarily under "job placement" and staying at the unit with "approval".
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