An intoxicated man who assaulted two police officers while they were trying to help him into an ambulance was jailed three months and fined $3,000 at the State Courts on Wednesday (16 May).
Australian Jordan Lee Plant, a former student from the James Cook University here, pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt by punching Police Staff Sergeant Ismadi Hussien’s torso and face, one count of using abusive words on Ismadi and one count of pushing Police Sergeant Adrian Tan Kar Wee on his shoulder.
According to court documents, the 27-year-old had been hurt in a brawl at Cherry Discotheque – located at York Hotel – on the night of 19 March last year. Officers Ismadi and Tan, who were dispatched to the scene, found Plant standing by the road when they arrived.
An ambulance had been called as Plant had been injured in the fight.
At around 3.02am, Tan was standing next to Plant when the latter suddenly turned towards Tan and pushed him on his shoulder. Plant’s friend immediately intervened and pushed Plant back while Tan took out his t-baton to defend himself. Ismadi then came forward to assist Tan.
A few minutes later, Plant was asked to enter the ambulance but he refused to do so and began walking away from the vehicle – even as Ismadi held onto his arm. At one point, Plant turned to Ismadi and said, “I am an Australian citizen” while adding several expletives.
As he continued to resist, Plant was placed under arrest.
“(Plant) pushed (Ismadi) away at least twice. (Plant) also punched (Ismadi) once on the face, and again on the upper body area, with intent to deter (the police officer) from discharging his duty,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Rachel Tan.
Officers finally pinned the struggling man to the ground and handcuffed him. Ismadi, who visited a hospital after the incident, was found to have bruises on his face and chest and was given two days of medical leave.
Lawyers S S Dhillon and Jasjeet Singh, who represented Plant, said that their client was attacked by the club’s bouncers prior to the incident with the police. As Plant was leaving the club, two bouncers started pushing him.
Some time later, six to seven bouncers started raining blows on him while he was on the floor. One of the bouncers also allegedly punched his girlfriend, who had tried to protect Plant.
“The video footage from the police officers’ body camera clearly show that our client was bleeding profusely and in a state of intoxication, pain and dazed,” said the lawyers, who added that this was the context in which their client had committed the offences.
Plant sustained lacerations over his right lip, lower left eyelid and an abrasion over the right elbow from being attacked by the bouncers.
Plant, who is currently unemployed and not enrolled in a school, intends to complete his business degree at the University of Technology Sydney and will not be returning to Singapore after the case has been resolved, said the lawyers.
The defence asked for a fine or a low custodial sentence.
In sentencing Plant, District Judge Kessler Soh said, “I need you to understand that the law must protect police officers in the lawful exercise of their duty… Any act of violence against them must be severely punished.”
Soh added that the officers were only trying to assist him when he abused them and that a substantial jail term was warranted to “deter senseless acts of violence”.