Public Prosecutor v Wong Siu Fai

Judgment Date16 May 2002
Date16 May 2002
Docket NumberCriminal Case No 26 of 2002
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Public Prosecutor
Wong Siu Fai

[2002] SGHC 107

Choo Han Teck JC

Criminal Case No 26 of 2002

High Court

Criminal Procedure and Sentencing–Sentencing–Whether proper to charge accused on two different charges arising from same incident–Whether to treat the two charges as single offence for purposes of sentencing–Factors to be considered and balanced against–Whether to backdate sentence on account of time already served

The accused (“Wong”) pleaded guilty to two charges under ss 354 and 377 of the Penal Code (Cap 224, 1985 Rev Ed). Both offences occurred at the same place, day, time, and on the same victim.


(1) There was nothing wrong in principle for charging an accused on two different charges arising from the same incident if the facts indicated that distinctly different offences were committed in the course of a single transaction. This was borne out by s 170 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 68, 1985 Rev Ed): at [3].

(2) The two charges ought to be considered as part of a single offence for purposes of sentencing. Wong's offence was unitary in nature as the two acts occurred at virtually the same time and Wong violated the same part of the victim's body. Further, the court considered the child's age, sex, the manner and duration in which the offence was committed, Wong's previous conviction for outrage of modesty, and the absence of a planned modus operandi given his intoxicated state at the time of the offence. The last two factors were given their due weight and balanced against the circumstances and age of the victim: at [5] and [6].

(3) Wong was sentenced to one day's imprisonment for the first charge and six years' imprisonment for the second charge. Both charges were to run concurrently from the date of conviction. The sentence was not backdated as the five months' imprisonment he already served should be part of the punishment given the circumstances of the case: at [7].

[Observation: Bearing in mind that criminal cases always varied because no two offenders nor their victims, nor the circumstances, were alike, any sentencing guideline from a superior court must always be regarded as a most important factor especially in connecting all the broad clusters of similarities, but must not be taken as an indication that having done so, the individual facts and circumstances of the case need not be studied with the view to either varying upwards or downwards from the norm: at [6].

It was inappropriate to fill a single charge with two offences such that the accused did not know which one he had to meet (a procedural irregularity known as duplicity) or to create two charges from what was essentially a single offence - where the line was to be drawn between these two types of cases depended on the facts and evidence in each case. It would be unfair to leave the offender with a record for having committed two offences if what was done was...

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11 cases
  • Annis bin Abdullah v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 5 March 2004
    ...the sentences imposed in similar cases. 84 In sentencing the appellant, the district judge relied on three cases – PP v Wong Siu Fai [2002] 3 SLR 276, Adam bin Darsin v PP [2001] 2 SLR 412 and PP v Peh Thian Hui [2002] 3 SLR 268 – in which sentences of five years’ imprisonment were imposed ......
  • Annis Bin Abdullah v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • District Court (Singapore)
    • 6 November 2003
    ...DPP cited the three cases involving acts of fellatio carried out by or performed on victims of a young age, namely, PP v Wong Siu Fai [2002] 3 SLR 276, Adam bin Darsin v PP [2001] 2 SLR 412 and PP v Peh Thian Jui and Ors [2002] 3 SLR 268. The offenders pleaded guilty in those cases and were......
  • Public Prosecutor v Balwant Singh s/o Jhanda Singh
    • Singapore
    • District Court (Singapore)
    • 12 May 2004
    ...(CC14/1999); PP v Izan bin Othman (1) & Kamisah bte Hassan (2) (CC31/2003); Adam Bin Darsin v PP [2001] 2 SLR 413; PP v Wong Siu Fai [2002] 3 SLR 276; PP v Abdul Hamed bin Yahya (CC60/2003); PP v Lim Beng Cheok [2004] 1 SLR 48; PP v Siddharth Mujumdar (CC44/2002); PP v Bostam bin Rom (CC9/2......
  • Public Prosecutor v Mohammad Zam bin Abdul Rashid
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 21 September 2006
    ...indicated a lack of planning in the commission of the offence. As stated by Choo Han Teck JC (as he then was) in PP v Wong Siu Fai [2002] 3 SLR 276 at [6], intoxication, though of no exculpatory value, was nonetheless indicative of an absence of a planned modus operandi. Dr Stephen Phang op......
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