Ong Hwee Leong v Public Prosecutor

CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgeYong Pung How CJ
Judgment Date02 March 1992
Neutral Citation[1992] SGHC 49
Citation[1992] SGHC 49
Defendant CounselJennifer Marie (Deputy Public Prosecutor)
Plaintiff CounselHenry Hoe (Henry Hoe & Co)
Published date19 September 2003
Docket NumberMagistrate's Appeal No 402 of 1991
Date02 March 1992
Subject MatterRoad rage,Criminal Procedure and Sentencing,Voluntarily causing hurt,One week's imprisonment,Sentencing,Custodial sentence required if motorists resort to violence over trivial traffic matters,s 323 Penal Code (Cap 224),Forms of punishment

This was an appeal against sentence only. The appellant pleaded guilty on 4 December 1991 before a district court to an offence of voluntarily causing hurt punishable under s 323 of the Penal Code (Cap 224) (`the Code`), as a result of which he was sentenced to one week`s imprisonment.

On 26 September 1991 at about 8.50pm, both the appellant aged 26 years and the victim aged 51 years were driving their respective vans along Upper Thomson Road.
While driving behind the victim`s van, the appellant switched on the headlights of his van to high beam. This irritated the victim who then allowed the appellant to overtake him, and in turn switched on his headlights to highbeam to irritate the appellant. Subsequently, when both parties stopped at the traffic lights, the appellant alighted from his van and confronted the victim. During the ensuing dispute, he fisted the victim on the right cheek. The victim suffered a swelling over the right malar area and was given medical leave for one day.

The appellant pleaded guilty to the following charge:

That you, on or about 26 September 1991 at about 8.50pm, along Yishun Ring Road near to the pedestrian crossing of Block 103 Yishun Ring Road, Singapore, did voluntarily cause hurt to one Latiff s/o Abdul Kader, to wit, by fisting his face, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under s 323 of the Penal Code (Cap 224).



Although the appellant declined to say anything in mitigation, the district judge took into account the fact that he was a first offender.
He could not ignore the fact, however, that the appellant had assaulted a man twice as old as himself on the face and had simply driven off after that, and he was of the view that the appellant`s action was one of hooliganism on the road. He noted that motorists had increasingly resorted to violence at the slightest irritation or provocation and there had recently been a spate of such cases. In his view such deliberate violence on the road must be deterred.

Counsel for the appellant submitted that this incident had arisen from a minor misunderstanding on the road and even the prosecution had not asked the court below to pass a deterrent sentence.
In the circumstances, he submitted that the district court should have merely imposed a fine, and the custodial sentence of one week`s imprisonment was manifestly excessive. In support of this argument, he cited two cases under s 323 of the Code, PP v Khoo Kim Chwee 1 in which the...

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37 cases
  • Wong Sin Yee v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 23 Mayo 2001
    ...v PP Magistrate's Appeal No 113 of 2001 (distd) Ng Ai Tiong v PP [2000] 1 SLR (R) 490; [2000] 2 SLR 358 (folld) Ong Hwee Leong v PP [1992] 1 SLR (R) 458; [1992] 1 SLR 794 (folld) PP v Lee Seck Hing [1992] 2 SLR (R) 374; [1992] 2 SLR 745 (folld) PP v AAX [1999] 2 SLR (R) 1104; [1999] 4 SLR 8......
  • Chua Tian Bok Timothy v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 16 Septiembre 2004
    ...caning where the offence is the more serious one of voluntarily causing grievous hurt under s 325 of the Penal Code (Ong Hwee Leong v PP [1992] 1 SLR 794; PP v Lee Seck Hing [1992] 2 SLR 745). I made it clear in Ong Hwee Leong v PP and PP v Lee Seck Hing that there can be no place on our ro......
  • Public Prosecutor v Navaseelan Balasingam
    • Singapore
    • District Court (Singapore)
    • 1 Agosto 2006
    ...the offence: PP v Tan Fook Sum [1999] 2 SLR 523 @ para 20; Roslan bin Abdul Rahman v PP [1999] 2 SLR 211 @ para 13; Ong Hwee Leong v PP [1992] 1 SLR 794 @ para 4, 7; Lim Teck Chye v PP [2004] 2 SLR 525@ para 68. In Ooi Joo Keong v PP (MA246/1996/01, unreported @ para 10), it was said that ‘......
  • Public Prosecutor v Ng Chee Tiong Tony
    • Singapore
    • Magistrates' Court (Singapore)
    • 15 Mayo 2007
    ...that this was a road rage case. Sentencing considerations 84 It was made clear by the High Court as far back as in Ong Hwee Leong v PP [1992] 1 SLR 794 and in PP v Lee Seck Hing [1992] 2 SLR 745 that there could be no place for uncontrolled expressions of violence on our roads. Neither woul......
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