CNA – A man was fined SGD3,500 by a district court yesterday for slapping an elderly pedestrian who had shouted at him, asking why he was driving so fast.
Adrian Low Kim Chye, 37, pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt.
A second charge of using threatening behaviour by holding a long torchlight during the altercation was considered in sentencing.
The court heard that Low was driving a car in the car park outside Block 206, Hougang Street 21, near Heartland Mall at about 7.35am on May 17 last year.
Low was with his friend and they were intending to eat at the nearby food centre.
The victim, a 73-year-old man, was standing on the road next to a kerb in the car park, along a bend.
Low drove around the bend and honked once as he was rounding the bend.
The victim, who was standing on the road, raised his right hand and shouted at the car: “Why you drive so fast?”
As Low passed the victim, he heard a “bang” sound from inside the car and surmised that the victim may have hit the car.
Low stopped his vehicle and alighted with a torchlight to confront the victim.
The two men scolded and shouted at each other.
During the shouting match, the elderly man shouted: “You hit me la.”
Low then slapped the victim on his left cheek before leaving. The victim suffered pain, redness on his cheek and lightheadedness but did not seek medical attention.
A passerby called the police over the case.
The prosecution sought a fine of at least SGD4,000 for Low, saying it was aggravating that the victim was an elderly person who was vulnerable.
He said this case was not strictly speaking a “road rage” case, citing a previous High Court judgement. In that judgement, the court had declined to categorise a charge as a road rage offence because the hurt was caused in retaliation to the victim’s act of hitting the accused’s car, rather than in response to the shared use of the road.
“Similarly, in this case, the accused had hit the victim as a result of the verbal argument and the victim’s oral challenge, rather than shared use of the road,” said the prosecutor.
The penalties for voluntarily causing hurt are a jail term of up to three years, a fine of up to SGD5,000, or both.