Public Prosecutor v Wang Xuyi

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeLau Qiuyu
Judgment Date21 April 2022
Neutral Citation[2022] SGMC 20
Citation[2022] SGMC 20
Hearing Date26 January 2022,05 November 2021,22 December 2021,14 October 2021,13 April 2021,04 August 2021,29 July 2021,12 April 2021,18 January 2022,30 July 2021
Docket NumberMagistrate’s Court Notice No 901728 of 2020 and ors, Magistrate’s Appeal No MA-9015-2022-01
Published date30 April 2022
Plaintiff CounselEugene Teh (Attorney-General's Chambers)
Defendant CounselThe accused in person.
Subject MatterCriminal Law,Offences,Voluntarily causing hurt,Attempt,Protection from Harassment Act,Criminal Procedure and Sentencing,Sentencing
District Judge Lau Qiuyu:

The accused, Mdm Wang Xuyi, claimed trial before me to a total of four charges – one charge for voluntarily causing hurt under s 323 of the Penal Code (Cap 224, 2008 Rev Ed) (the “PC”), one charge for attempting to voluntarily cause hurt under s 323 read with s 511 of the PC, and two charges for using insulting words towards a public service worker under s 6(1)(a) of the Protection from Harassment Act (Cap 256A, 2015 Rev Ed) (the “POHA”).

Having heard the testimonies of the Prosecution’s witnesses and that of the accused, and having considered the evidence tendered at trial and parties’ submissions, I found the accused guilty of all four charges and convicted her accordingly.

After convicting the accused, I imposed a total sentence of one week’s imprisonment and a fine of $5,000 (in default thereof, eight days’ imprisonment) as follows:

Charge No. Offence section Sentence Consecutive / Concurrent
MCN-901728-2020 (the “first charge”) s 323 of the PC 1 week’s imprisonment Concurrent
MCN-901729-2020 (the “second charge”) s 323 read with s 511 of the PC 1 week’s imprisonment Concurrent
MCN-901730-2020 (the “third charge”) s 6(1)(a) of the POHA Fine of $2,500 (in default four days’ imprisonment) -
MCN-901731-2020 (the “fourth charge”) s 6(1)(a) of the POHA Fine of $2,500 (in default four days’ imprisonment) -

The accused has lodged an appeal against both conviction and sentence and I set out the reasons for my decision below. A stay of execution on the sentence was allowed further to the lodging of the appeal. The accused is presently on bail pending the appeal.

The charges

The four charges are reproduced in full below:

The first charge

You… are charged that you, on 16 May 2020, at around 11:04pm, at the Accident and Emergency Department of the Changi General Hospital, located at No. 2 Simei Street 3, Singapore, did voluntarily cause hurt to Nurul Neeza Binte Mohd Jumain, to wit, by hitting her shoulder several times, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under section 323 of the Penal Code (Cap 224, 2008 Rev Ed).

The second charge

You… are charged that you, on 16 May 2020, at around 11.05pm, at the Accident and Emergency Department of the Changi General Hospital, located at No. 2 Simei Street 3, Singapore, did attempt to voluntarily cause hurt to Nurul Neeza Binte Mohd Jumain, to wit, by attempting to bite her, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under section 323 read with section 511 of the Penal Code (Cap 224, 2008 Rev Ed).

The third charge

You… are charged that you, on 16 May 2020, at around 9pm, at the Accident and Emergency Department of the Changi General Hospital, located at No. 2 Simei Street 3, Singapore, did use insulting words towards a public service worker, namely Dr Magneline Ang Ke Xin, a medical doctor with the Changi General Hospital, in relation to the execution of her duty as such public service worker, to wit, by calling her “stupid”, and you have thereby committed an offence under section 6(1)(a) punishable under section 6(3) of the Protection from Harassment Act (Cap 256A, 2015 Rev Ed).

The fourth charge (as amended at close of Prosecution’s case)1

You… are charged that you, on 16 May 2020, at around 11pm, at the Accident and Emergency Department of the Changi General Hospital, located at No. 2 Simei Street 3, Singapore, did use insulting words towards a public service worker, namely Dr Magneline Ang Ke Xin, a medical doctor with the Changi General Hospital, in relation to the execution of her duty as such public service worker, to wit, by calling her “shen jing bing” in Mandarin, which means “crazy” in English, and you have thereby committed an offence under section 6(1)(a) punishable under section 6(3) of the Protection from Harassment Act (Cap 256A, 2015 Rev Ed).

The Prosecution’s case

The following six Prosecution witnesses were called at trial:

Witness Marking
Dr Magneline Ang Ke Xin PW1
Tan Pei Ling Pamela PW2
Sasikumar Rajandaran PW3
Nurul Neeza Binte Mohd Jumain PW4
Nigel Sidney Khung Soon Chai PW5
Chua Zhi Wen PW6

Of the six Prosecution witnesses, the Prosecution had initially intended to call only the first four (ie, PW1 to PW4).2 However, just before the Prosecution was about to close its case after leading evidence from PW1 to PW4, the accused queried if two other witnesses, namely PW5 and PW63, would be coming to court. To this, the Prosecution’s position was that they would not be calling PW5 and PW6, but would assist, and did indeed assist, to check on their availabilities for them to be offered to the accused.4 I explained this to the accused, and asked if she wished to call them as the Defence’s witnesses. In response, the accused expressed reservations and difficulties with calling the two witnesses. In the same breath, she stated that she “wanted to see these [two] people.”5 Eventually, the Prosecution decided to call PW5 and PW6 as well, so as to afford the accused the “full opportunity to cross-examine them”.6 Nonetheless, the Prosecution’s position was that it was not relying on PW6’s evidence for its case, and had only called PW6 so that the accused could “effectively cross-examine him”.7

For completeness, the Prosecution also invited the accused to confirm the identities of any further witnesses that she wished to call, so that the Prosecution may similarly propose to have them called as Prosecution witnesses for the accused to cross-examine. However, the accused said that this was not necessary, and she did not wish to summon other witnesses apart from PW5 and PW6, who were there with her on the material day.8

Background facts

The accused attended at the Changi General Hospital (“CGH”) on the material day, 16 May 2020. PW1 is Dr Magneline Ang Ke Xin, a doctor working in the Accident & Emergency Department (“A&E Department”) of CGH on that same day. PW1 is a medical doctor registered with the Singapore Medical Council and employed by MOH Holdings Pte Ltd.9 At about 6 pm, PW1 called the accused into the consultation room. During the consultation, there were disagreements between PW1 and the accused on the treatment and tests required. PW1’s evidence was that she had “faced a lot of resistance from [the accused] as [the accused] was quite fixated on the treatment that she wanted.”10 In particular, the accused had insisted on antibiotics, which PW1 did not deem necessary at that point. The accused also disagreed with PW1’s professional recommendations for the accused to undergo various investigations.

PW1 expended considerable time to convince the accused to proceed with the investigations, which the accused eventually agreed to undergo. However, the accused subsequently changed her mind. PW1 thus sought to persuade the accused a second time to go for the investigations, and further engaged the help of a senior doctor and the medical registrar on call that day to explain the options to the accused. Despite the opinion of the three doctors, the accused remained dissatisfied with the options provided, and insisted on being prescribed antibiotics.

It was against the backdrop of these disagreements that the offences arose.

Evidence of the Prosecution’s witnesses The third charge

After the exchange with the medical registrar, PW1 told the accused to take some time to consider her options. Thereafter, PW1 returned to her consultation room to see another patient.

PW1 testified that around 9 pm, she was just finished with the consultation of another patient when the accused “proceeded back into [PW1’s] room” before she even called for the accused.11 This room referred to the consultation room in the A&E Department of CGH.12 The accused informed PW1 that she was “just going to leave”, and before the accused closed the door to PW1’s room, the accused had called PW1 “stupid”.13 According to PW1, the exact words that the accused had said to her were “you are stupid”.14 PW1 “felt that the comment was very insulting.”15

As this occurred in PW1’s consultation room, she did not think there was anybody else in the vicinity who heard the accused’s comment.16 It had just been PW1 and the accused in the consultation room at the material time.17

The fourth charge

Thereafter, PW1 thought that the accused had left the A&E department and PW1 continued with what she was doing with her other patients. However, at about 9.30 pm, PW1 was informed by the senior doctor that he had spoken to the accused, who was now keen for admission. The senior doctor asked that PW1 proceed with the paperwork. He further told PW1 that PW1 need not speak to the accused again as he had already spoken to her. As such, PW1 proceeded to print the necessary forms for admission and passed them to the nurses to process the accused’s admission.

Sometime between 10 pm to 11 pm, PW1 was informed again that the accused was not keen to be admitted and that the accused wanted to speak to PW1. PW1 thus proceeded to the admissions counter to speak to the accused to understand her concerns. PW1 testified that the accused was very agitated at this point. The accused maintained that she did not want to be admitted and queried PW1 on why the admission process was done. PW1 again tried to explain the situation to her, and at around 11 pm, the accused said the exact phrase “ni sheng jing bing” in Mandarin to PW1, which meant “you are crazy” in English.18

PW1 testified that this comment was made by the accused very loudly in front of the general public at the admissions counter. There were therefore several people around who had heard the same, including the administrations counter staff, the nurses in the vicinity, and the general public seated at the admissions counter, who turned around to look at PW1 and...

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