Briton stranded in Singapore for son’s premature birth fined $10,800 for cursing at police officers

Photo from GoFundMe campaign page
Photo from GoFundMe campaign page

SINGAPORE — A British tourist who was in the news for crowdsourcing for medical fees after the birth of his premature baby in Singapore was fined $10,800 on Thursday (25 July) for verbally abusing two police officers.

Patraic Fionnbharr Walsh-Kavanagh had caused annoyance to an assistant manager of a bar in Robertson Quay by entering and demanding for drinks after closing hours.

The 27-year-old pleaded guilty in the State Courts to two counts of using abusive words on the police officers who arrested him, and one count of being drunk and incapable of caring for himself in a public place.

Walsh-Kavanagh arrived in Singapore with his partner on 15 February as a tourist on a social visit pass. His son was born in Singapore General Hospital prematurely on 26 February after his partner suffered from pregnancy complications.

Media reports state that the couple’s baby Lorcan weighed only 0.86kg at birth.

A brother of the accused started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise funds for the couple’s medical fees in February. The campaign has since raised half of its target amount of £142,000 (S$241,888.48).

Walsh-Kavanagh was on a one month-extension of social visit pass - given on 15 May - when he committed the offences.

On 24 May, at about 1am, the bar Uncabunca was about to close for the night when Walsh-Kavanagh entered and asked for more drinks. He had drunk at Uncabunca and other places earlier that night, consuming five pints of Heineken among other drinks.

Uncabunca’s assistant manager, Muhammad Ramil Md Zain, told Walsh-Kavanagh to leave as the bar was closed but the latter refused.

Walsh-Kavanagh then picked up the sales cash float near the counter and refused to return it until Ramil snatched it back. Ramil called the police.

When two officers arrived, they arrested Walsh-Kavanagh and escorted him to their vehicle. As the officers tried to ascertain his identity, Walsh-Kavanagh hurled vulgarities at them.

The statements include, “Who the f*** do you think you are? You people think you are entitled to f****** ask me. I’m telling you who the f*** I am.”, “This bloke is a f****** idiot.”, and “You f****** w*****, do you have anything to say? F*** off.”

He persisted despite being warned that insulting police officers was an offence under the law.

After being brought back to Tanglin Division Headquarters, Walsh-Kavanagh was uncooperative when having his personal belongings removed for safekeeping. He insulted the second police officer with, “I’m looking at you little p****. You weak little c***. You weak little human.” and “You think you are a f****** big man, you’re a clown. Put your f****** legs over your shoulders, you t***.”

The vulgarities, which were in 42 sentences, were all caught on the police officers’ body worn cameras.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Claire Poh sought a $10,800 fine, saying Walsh-Kavanagh’s verbal abuse was “sustained”.

Sunil Sudheesan, the Briton’s lawyer, said his client’s actions were “out of character” and that his emotions were strained due to the circumstances that his partner and child were in.

District Judge Adam Nakhoda told Walsh-Kavanagh that he used completely unacceptable language on the police officers.

“I emphasise they should never be abused - I say again it was absolutely deplorable, unrelenting, occurred for sustained period of time. Whatever level of intoxication is in no way mitigating,” said the judge.

The judge accepted that Walsh-Kavanagh was in a stressful situation but added that it did not justify his conduct.

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