Vance John Doray v Public Prosecutor

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeGilbert Low Teik Seang
Judgment Date15 December 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGMC 43
Citation[2001] SGMC 43
Published date19 September 2003



1. The accused, a police corporal at the material time of the offence claimed trial to the following charge P1

"You are charged that you on or about the 4th day of July 2000 at or about 8.45 p.m. at the staircase landing beside M/S IV KTV located at No: 255, Joo Chiat Road, Singapore, did voluntarily cause(sic) hurt to one Chia Hwee Chew to wit, by pinning him to the ground and kicked his groin with your right leg, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 323 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224."


Evidence of Sargeant Ong Han Lee (PW1)

2. In the evening of 4 July 2000, Sargeant Ong Han Lee ("Sgt Ong") was performing fast response police car duty together with his colleague, Police Constable Jayasaravanan s/o Jayapragasam (PW2) ("PC Jaya") when they were ordered by their divisional operations room to proceed to a karaoke lounge called "IV KTV" located at 255 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore. The operations room had received a message that 7 to 8 persons were fighting inside the said lounge. When they arrived at the scene at about 8.46 pm, Sgt Ong saw the accused pulling out a subject from the lounge. Upon seeing this, Sgt Ong and PC Jaya assumed that fighting was still going on in the lounge at the time. They then entered the lounge to check. However, there was no sign of fighting inside the lounge.

3. The officers then left the lounge. Outside, at the pavement along Joo Chiat Road, Sgt Ong saw the accused pressing with one hand, the neck of the male subject whom the accused was seen dragging out earlier, against the wall. The index finger of the accuseds other hand was pointed at the subject, who was confirmed to be Chia Hwee Chew ("Chia"). The area around the pavement was brightly lit and there was no obstruction to Sgt Ongs observation of the accused about 5 metres away. At that time, it appeared that both the accused and Chia were shouting at one another. Some friends of Chia approached Sgt Ong and one of them, Lee Kim Huat (PW3) ("Lee") asked Sgt Ong what the accused was trying to do to his friend. At this juncture, Sgt Ongs view of the accused was distracted by Lees interruption and when he resumed his observation, he saw part of the Chias leg being pulled into the staircase landing which was perpendicular to the pavement. After Chia was pulled into the landing, the door to the landing was closed. Upon seeing this, Sgt Ong went over and tried to push the door open with both his hands. As there was no door knob that could be opened from the outside, Sgt Ong was unable to push open the door. He then spoke to the accused (whom he assumed was inside the staircase landing with Chia) to open the door. He also knocked the door several times.

4. After about 20 seconds, the door finally opened. The accused was seen lifting up one of his hands and claimed that Chia had assaulted him. At the same time when the door opened, Sgt Ong also saw Chia lying on the staircase, crying. Chia informed Sgt Ong in Hokkien that the accused had kicked his private part. The accused then told Sgt Ong that he was going to arrest Chia for assaulting a police officer and proceeded to handcuff the latter. At this juncture, Chia refused to allow the accused to handcuff him and instead requested Sgt Ong to handcuff him. After being handcuffed by Sgt Ong, Chia was brought to Sgt Ongs patrol car and escorted to Geylang Police Station. Along the way whilst in the car, Sgt Ong observed that Chia was still crying and complained that his private part was painful. Whilst in the patrol car, Chia did not display any signs of violence.

Evidence of Jayasaravanan s/o Jayapragasam (PW2)

5. PC Jaya reiterated Sgt Ongs evidence that he accompanied the latter to the KTV lounge. Upon arrival there, he saw the accused pull the subject known as Chia Hwee Chew outside of the lounge. Thinking that there were people fighting inside the lounge, he and Sgt Ong proceeded inside where they found everything to be normal. Outside the lounge along Joo Chiat Road, PC Jaya testified that he saw the accused holding Chia by the neck against the wall. At the same time, Chia was shouting. PC Jaya then saw the accused drag Chia into the staircase landing in the presence of the crowd gathering around. He then proceeded to perform crowd control by the road. When the door of the staircase landing opened, he saw Sgt Ong and the accused escorting Chia who was already handcuffed to the police car. Enroute to the police headquarters whilst inside the car, Chia was crying but PC Jaya did not know why he was crying.

6. Under cross-examination, PC Jaya clarified that although he could not really recall seeing the accused bring Chia to the staircase landing, it was his evidence that he remembered seeing the accused close the door to the landing as he was standing quite close to the door at that time (page 24 of the notes of evidence).

Evidence of Lee Kim Huat (PW3)

7. Lee Kim Huat ("Lee") was one of Chias friends who accompanied him to the lounge on that evening. In fact, Lee was both Chias colleague and childhood friend. He testified that as a result of the drinking, Chia got drunk and started to fool around with one of the lounge hostesses. As a result of which, Chia was bitten by the hostess. Being infuriated by this, Chia proceeded with Lee to the counter to make a complaint to the lounge manager. At this time, Chia was noisy and loud but not violent when he demanded to see the manager. Instead of the manager coming to see them, the accused came into the lounge and proceeded to the bar counter where Chia and Lee were. Lees evidence at this juncture was somewhat unclear but he testified that Chia was then pulled out from the lounge by the accused.

8. Lee followed them out of the lounge and outside on the pavement along Joo Chiat road, he saw the accused push Chia against the wall. At the same time, he saw Sgt Ong and a patrol car parked nearby. As Chia was pressed by the accused with his right hand on the neck, Lee heard Chia shout in Hokkien that he could not breathe. He also heard Sgt Ong asking the accused to let go of his hand on Chia. Lee then conversed with Sgt Ong and at the same time, saw the accused either dragging or pulling Chia into the staircase landing. He then told Sgt Ong about this and Sgt Ong went and knocked on the door. When the door eventually opened, he saw Chia at the staircase landing, shouting very loudly that his testicles were hit. At that time, the accused was also seen on the landing. Lee testified that Chias face showed that he was in pain and his voice changed as if he was going to cry.

9. When the accused wanted to handcuff Chia, Chia refused to be handcuffed by him but allowed Sgt Ong to handcuff him. At this time, Chia was not violent and did not put up any resistance. Lee also testified that it was not the case that it took three police officers to subdue him at the time. The next day, Lee went to the police station to bail Chia out, who informed him that during the night he was brought to Changi General Hospital for a medical checkup. At the time of release, as he was still suffering from great pain on his testicles, Lee advised Chia to go to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for further treatment.

Evidence of Chia Hwee Chew (PW5)

10. Chia admitted having drunk a considerable amount of alcohol at the lounge on that evening. When he was bitten by the hostess, he got angry and wanted to complain to the manager. It appeared that whilst walking to the bar counter, he stumbled and broke some glasses in the lounge. Whilst waiting for the manager, he shouted obscenities at the lounge staff. Consequently, instead of the manager arriving, it was a police officer (ascertained to be the accused) who entered the lounge and approached the bar counter. At the same time, Chia was having another drink and was still shouting. According to him, he remembered that he was then pulled to the wall outside the lounge. The accused was shouting at him and was pressing his hand on his neck. In turn, he shouted back at the accused. It was also Chias evidence that when his neck was pressed, he had difficulty in breathing and consequently became awake from his drunken stupor. He then realised where he was (see page 60 of the notes of evidence). He also shouted loudly with force in Hokkien that he could not breathe. Realising where he was, he saw Lee together with two police officers at the scene, one of whom he identified as a Chinese Sargeant.

11. Chia testified that the accused who was holding onto his neck, then took him into the staircase landing; by pulling at his clothes, pushing him in and then pinning him down onto the staircase. He was made to sit either on the third or fourth step of the staircase above the landing. He also heard the door of the landing locked. The accused stood on the landing, faced him and shouted at him in English which he did not understand. Chia in turn shouted...

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