Lye Wing Soon William v Public Prosecutor

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeAbdul Rahim B A Jalil
Judgment Date18 January 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGDC 18
Citation[2001] SGDC 18
Published date19 April 2005

Lye Wing Soon William ...appellant


Public Prosecutor ...respondent

Citation: DAC No 31644 of 1999
Jurisdiction: Singapore
Date: 2001:01:18
2000:11:10, 2000:11:01, 2000:10:27, 2000:10:20, 2000:10:19
Court: Subordinate Courts
Coram: Abdul Rahim Jalil, District Judge
Counsel: Leong Kwang Ian (Deputy Public Prosecutor) for the respondent
Mr K Sivaratnam (S. Ratnam & Associates) for the appellant


Grounds of Judgment

The accused claimed trial to the following charge:

DAC 31644/99

You are charged that you, on or about the 18th day of November 1998, at or about 11.00 pm, at Jurong Neighbourhood Police Post, Singapore, being employed in the capacity of a servant, to wit, a Police Corporal of the Singapore Police Force, did commit theft of 4 boxes of cigarette in the possession of the Singapore Police Force, you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 381 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.

Agreed facts

2. The prosecution and the defence agreed to the following facts:

1. The Accused is William Lye Wing Soon. At the material time, he was a Corporal attached to Jurong Neighbourhood Police Post

2. On 18 Nov 1998, Corporal Chua Yue Ban and Vigilante Constable (Reservist) Ang Wei Chuan were performing anti-crime patrol along Tuas Crescent in the Tuas Industrial Estate at about 10.20 pm at night.

3. There, both officers saw what they believed were three Indonesians at a bus-stop. The three Indonesians fled upon sight of the officers leaving behind three bags of contraband cigarettes which were seized by the two officers.

4. These cigarettes were brought back to Jurong Neighbourhood Police Post (NPP) as exhibits at about 10.50 pm the same evening. At Jurong NPP, the cigarette were placed in the Interview Room.

5. Before the cigarettes could be counted, Corporal Chua Yue Ban (‘Corporal Chua’) left the Interview Room to answer a phone call from Division Operations Room (DOR).

Prosecution’s case - evidence of VC Ang Wei Chuan

3. The prosecution relied essentially on the evidence of Vigilante Constable Ang Wei Chuan (‘VC Ang’) to prove that the accused had committed the offence. VC Ang testified that on 18 November 1998, he was Corporal Chua’s partner on patrol. He said that the cigarettes were brought to the Interview Room of Jurong NPP. He added that before Corporal Chua left the Interview Room to answer the telephone call from Division Operations Room, Corporal Chua told him to keep an eye on the cigarettes.

4. However, VC Ang said that he could not remember as to what took place after Corporal Chua left the Interview Room. I did allow VC Ang to refresh his memory by referring to his police statement dated 15 December 1998. The whole statement was read over to him. Thereafter, paragraph 4 of the same statement was read to him again. That paragraph reads:

Back at Jurong NPP, the team had changed shift and I can tell so because the officer manning the Post are different officers. I and Cpl Chua carried the 3 bags into the interview room. On entering the Post, Sgt Colin Lee of the out-going team saw us carrying the bags and asked me and Cpl Chua what are the items carried. Cpl Chua briefed him and Sgt Tan Eng Yeow and Cpl William Lye about the case in the interview room. After briefing them, Cpl Chua was about to count the cigarette when DOR called him and he left the room to answer the call, leaving behind Sgt Colin Lee, Sgt Tan, Cpl William and me behind. Sgt Colin Lee asked me about the brand of the cigarette and I told him they looked like Marlboro. He took a look at the cigarette and spoke in Hokkien, "Gum le, Gum le" meaning it suit him and he told (sic) 3 boxes and left the interview. Sgt Tan and Cpl William were inside the room when Sgt Colin took the cigarette and left the room. I did not stopped him because Sgt Tan and Cpl William also did not stop him and furthermore I...

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