Sim Chye Men v Public Prosecutor

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeEric Tin Keng Seng
Judgment Date19 September 2002
Neutral Citation[2002] SGMC 18
Citation[2002] SGMC 18
Published date19 September 2003

Judgment

GROUNDS OF DECISION

Sim Chye Men ("Sim") originally faced 16 charges for offences under s 5(3)(a) of the Betting Act (Cap. 21). After successful representations by the defence, the prosecution proceeded with 5 charges, and applied for the remaining 11 to be taken into consideration for the purpose of sentence, as per the schedule tendered (marked "A").

Plea of guilt

2 The 5 proceeded charges stated that Sim acted as a bookmaker by accepting bets to forecast the soccer result of the "World Cup" fixture of various matches at Blk 719 Jurong West Avenue 5, #03-66, Singapore, on various dates and time (MAC4868/02 marked "P1", MAC4870/02 marked "P2", MAC4871/02 marked "P3, MAC4874/02 marked "P4", and MAC4880/02 marked "P5"). Sim pleaded guilty to all 5 charges. He understood the nature and consequences of his plea. The prescribed mandatory punishments were highlighted to him.

Statement of Facts

3 Sim admitted to the Statement of Facts (marked "B") without any qualification. To summarise, on 15 June 2002 at about 1.40 pm, Sergeant Tan Teng Teck of the Gambling Suppression Branch, Criminal Investigation Department, together with a party of officers, armed with search warrant No. 59 of 2002, raided Sim’s residence at Blk 719 Jurong West Avenue 5, #03-66 for illegal bookmaking activities. Upon arrival, the house occupant refused to open the door. Force was used to gain entry. Therein, Sim and two others were found. A search was conducted in Sim’s presence and the following items were recovered and seized:

    1. One folder containing some pieces of paper with entries;
    2. Some pieces of paper with entries;
    3. Three handphones;
    4. One calculator;
    5. Some pens.

4 Sim was placed under arrest. Investigations revealed that the pieces of paper seized were related to his soccer bookmaking activities. At his residence, between 12 pm to 7 pm on the dates below, Sim acted as a runner (defined as a "bookmaker" under section 2(1) of the Betting Act) by receiving and negotiating bets from punters who placed their bets to forecast the soccer result of "World Cup" fixtures for the following matches and value of bets:

Case

Date

Matches

Value of bets

MAC 4868/02

14 June 2002

Belgium vs. Russia

Tunisia vs. Japan

Poland vs. USA

Portugal vs. South Korea

$298,700

MAC 4870/02

12 June 2002

Nigeria vs. England

Sweden vs. Argentina

Slovenia vs. Paraguay

South Africa vs. Spain

$231,800

MAC 4871/02

11 June 2002

Senegal vs. Uruguay

Denmark vs. France

Saudi Arabia vs. Ireland

Cameroon vs. Germany

$283,300

MAC 4874/02

8 June 2002

South Africa vs. Slovenia

Italy vs. Croatia

Brazil vs. China

$261,500

MAC 4880/02

2 June 2002

England vs. Sweden

Paraguay vs. South Africa

Argentina vs. Nigeria

Spain vs. Slovenia

$257,500

Charges taken into consideration

5 After Sim was convicted on his plea of guilt, he admitted to 11 other offences of acting as a bookmaker and consented to have them taken into consideration for the purpose of sentence (charges marked "P6" to "P16" respectively).

Antecedents and Mitigation

6 Sim was a first offender. Counsel tendered a brief written mitigation plea (marked "C") highlighting the following points:

a. Sim pleaded guilty at the earliest available opportunity, admitted to the facts without reservation, and saved the court and prosecution considerable time in trying the case.

b. He has no previous conviction.

c. At 35 years old, Sim is married with a 4 year-old son and was not gainfully employed. He had an accident in 1984 and his right leg was one inch shorter. He worked in a steelmill until 1997 when he was retrenched and had been doing odd-jobs. He was the sole breadwinner. Due to the economic crisis, he found it difficult to look for a job. His wife...

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