Gan Cheng Bian v Public Prosecutor

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeCarol Ling Feng Yong
Judgment Date30 November 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGMC 41
Citation[2001] SGMC 41
Publication Date19 September 2003

Judgment

GROUNDS OF DECISION

Plea

1. The Accused person pleaded guilty to 1 charge under section 338 of the Penal Code for causing grievous hurt to one Chang Kok Kin by reversing a forklift in a manner so rashly as to endanger human life, resulting in the forklifts rear right tyre knocking into the left ankle of the said Chang and thus causing a traverse fracture of his left ankle.


Facts

2. The Accused is a forklift operator employed by M/S MacNels WareHousing Pte Ltd. The complainant is one Chang Kok Kin, a tally clerk with the same company.

3. On 1 August 2001, the Complainant was sorting out cargo at the sorting area inside the warehouse. At the same time, the Accused was deployed to operate the forklift to convey the cargo that had been sorted out to another storing area inside the warehouse, pending shipment.

4. In the course of work, after forking a pallet of cargo, the Accused reversed the forklift hurriedly to where the Complainant was standing without bothering to check the position of the Complainant who was at the rear. Accused knew that the Complainant was busy sorting out the cargo. As a result, the rear tyre of the forklift knocked into the Complainant's left ankle.

5. The medical report of the Complainant stated that he suffered a closed traverse fracture on the left medial malleolus. The Complainant underwent an operation and given hospitalization leave for 16 days. Upon a review, the wound had healed but Complainant needed to be on crutches. At the time of the medical report, a further review was fixed in a months time.

6. The Accused admitted to the Statement of Facts without qualification.


Antecedents

7. Accused was untraced.


Mitigation

8. Accused, unrepresented, stated in mitigation that he was a Malaysian and a sole breadwinner. He expressed regret for the incident and stated he had already extended an apology to the Complainant which the latter accepted. Accused added that the Complainant had fully recovered from the injury. He then pleaded for leniency.

9. The Prosecution was unable to confirm what the Accused had said about the Complainant. In response to a query, the Accused added that the Complainant was back at work, doing the same kind of work.


Sentence

10. Going by the reasoning in the cases of PP v Gan Lim Soon [1993] 3 SLR 261 and subsequently, Ngian Chin Boon v PP [1999] 1 SLR 119, it is clear that a distinction should be drawn between the negligence and rashness limbs of section 338 Penal Code for...

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