Kwan Soon Ming v Public Prosecutor

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeEric Tin Keng Seng
Judgment Date21 September 2002
Neutral Citation[2002] SGMC 19
Citation[2002] SGMC 19
Published date19 September 2003

Judgment

GROUNDS OF DECISION

Kwan Soon Ming ("Kwan") pleaded guilty before me to the following charge (MAC 2519/2002 marked "P1"):

You... are charged that you on or about the 18th day of December 2001 at about 4.30 pm, at Paya Lebar MRT Station, Singapore, did commit Criminal Intimidation by threatening one Ng Xing Ling, F/17 years old, with bodily harm by means of a knife with a black handle, intending to cause alarm to her, and you thereby committed an offence punishable under s 506 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.

Statement of Facts

2 He understood the nature and consequences of his plea, and admitted without reservation to the following brief facts (Statement of Facts marked "A").

3 On 21 December 2001 at about 8.40 pm, the complainant Ng Xing Ling ("the victim"), a female of 17 years old, lodged a police report at Bedok North Neighbourhood Police Centre that she had been threatened by Kwan with a knife at Paya Lebar MRT Station on 18 December 2001. Investigations revealed that on 18 December 2001 at about 4.30 pm, the victim and Kwan were having a heated argument over their relationship problems at Paya Lebar MRT Station. In the midst of their dispute, Kwan took out a knife with a black handle, tapped it on the victim’s pants and her right arm several times and asked her as to whether she wanted him to cut her face. The victim was frightened by his act. She began to cry and pleaded with Kwan not to do so. Kwan subsequently kept his knife. He had the intention to cause alarm to the victim.

Charges taken into consideration

4 After Kwan was convicted as charged, he admitted to the following offence (charge MAC 2520 of 2002 marked "P2") and consented to have it taken into consideration for the purpose of sentence:

You…. on or about the 18th day of December 2001, at or about 4.35 pm, at Paya Lebar MRT Station, Singapore, did voluntarily cause hurt to Ng Xing Ling, F/17 years old, to wit, by slapping and scratching her face and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 323 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.

Antecedents

5 Kwan was a first offender. However, I noted from the CRO 60 tendered by the prosecution (marked "B") that he was placed on record by the order of the Registrar of Societies on 21 September 2000 for being a member of an unlawful society. The first page of the CRO 60 shows that he was a junior headman of the secret society 24 Group of the Sio Ang Koon gang.

Mitigation Plea

6 It is useful to set out in full what counsel submitted in mitigation (written plea marked "C") to appreciate the case in its context.

7 Kwan is 20 years old, single. He is presently serving his national service with the Singapore Armed Forces at Chong Pang Camp. He had completed his "O" levels at Braddell Secondary School in 1999, and intends to study overseas once he completes his national service. His conduct in national service has been exemplary. His immediate superior wrote a character reference for him which was annexed to the written plea.

8 Kwan comes from a closely-knit family. He has an elder brother who is also serving national service. His father is a consultant engineer, his mother a school clerk. Kwan has no previous conviction. He has a history of fits and was diagnosed to have epilepsy. The relevant medical report was also annexed to the written plea.

9 Counsel was instructed that the victim was Kwan’s steady girlfriend. They met at a chalet at Pasir Ris in early 2001 and soon fell in love with each other. Kwan was then working as a factory hand at Hewlett-Packard usually doing midnight shift and earned about $1,000 per month.

10 In July 2001, the victim discovered she was pregnant. Kwan was then not ready to be a father and asked the victim if she could abort the child. Reluctantly, the victim agreed and she aborted the child in August 2001. Her behaviour towards Kwan changed after that. She would like to go to discotheques and pubs and wanted Kwan to foot the bills for her and her friends. Kwan did so initially as he felt apologetic to the victim and owed her for her "sacrifice". However, Kwan could not afford her expenses and she began to be friendly with other men. Kwan was jealous over this, but was "trying to control" himself. As a national serviceman, Kwan was given a folded knife by the Singapore Armed Forces, which he normally kept in his pocket together with his house keys.

11 On one occasion in August 2001, the victim wanted to buy a new handphone and Kwan brought her to a shop at City Plaza. A young man attended to her and after that Kwan found out that the victim was seeing this man. When he started to question her, this ended up in quarrels.

12 Their relationship deteriorated although they were still together. On 18 December 2001 in the afternoon, the victim was with Kwan. She wanted to go to City Plaza. Kwan went along. On reaching City Plaza, the victim told Kwan to wait outside while she went in. She said she was looking for a friend. Kwan waited for a while, went into City Plaza, and saw her talking to a man. He asked her who was this man and she said "Kelvin". Later, they left City Plaza. Kwan was very jealous and angry at that time. He asked the victim if Kelvin was her new boyfriend and she confirmed it. That "rocketed" Kwan’s anger, but he "subdued" it by keeping quiet.

13 The couple then walked to the Paya Lebar MRT Station. Kwan wanted to send the victim back. Just outside the Station, the victim...

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