Couple who assaulted Raffles Place club staff and policewoman sentenced

Wan Ting Koh
·Reporter
Yahoo file photo
Yahoo file photo

A lover’s tiff in a nightclub led to the man punching a club staff and his wife slapping a female police officer in the face.

Australian Males Milan and his wife, Russian Filimonova Svetlana, both 29, drank heavily at Club Altimate at Raffles Place before arguing among themselves as the club was about to close. Both ended up assaulting others who tried to intervene.

On Wednesday (24 October), Milan, a project manager working in Singapore, was fined $4,500 on one count of causing hurt to a club promoter, and one count of causing public disturbance, while Svetlana, who is unemployed, was jailed two weeks and fined $500 on one count of causing hurt to a public servant and one count of causing a public disturbance.

In sentencing Svetlana, District Judge Mathew Joseph noted that the woman’s charge against a police officer was more serious than her husband’s charge of causing hurt.

“Police officers deserve the full protection of the law so that they can carry out duties without being hindered,” said the judge, noting that Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Joey Tham was trying to help Svetlana when the Svetlana slapped her in the face.

“Our police officers are there to render assistance, but although you were given multiple chances, you behaved aggressively and defiantly.”

On 27 May last year, the couple had gone to Club Altimate at midnight where they drank heavily. As the club approached its closing hour, the pair got into a heated argument, with Milan behaving aggressively towards his wife.

A promoter at the club, Jaris Chung, tried to separate the two after Milan appeared to raise his hand to hit his wife. Chung placed his hands on Milan’s chest. Milan became incensed and punched Chung on his face. Other promoters at the club attempted to hold Milan back but he broke free and punched Chung twice more on his face.

Milan continued shouting loudly and jostling with other patrons in the club. He refused to leave when bouncers tried to escort him out. He was later placed under arrest by police officers.

ASP Tham arrived at the scene at 4am and saw Svetlana trying to hold onto Milan. Svetlana refused to get up from the floor when ASP Tham instructed her to do so. She yelled hysterically that she wanted to be with her husband, according to court documents.

ASP Tham later asked Svetlana to calm down and sit down while holding onto her but Svetlana ignored her and tried to leave. When ASP Tham repeated her request, Svetlana told the officer not to touch her and slapped the officer’s cheek. As Svetlana was being escorted in a lift, she struggled and screamed hysterically.

The prosecution sought a fine for both Milan and Svetlana, and a jail sentence of two weeks for the latter.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Joanne Leong told the court that Svetlana had shown contempt for the law and authority of the police.

DPP Leong also noted that Svetlana’s disobedience had taken place in full view of the public, which “risked undermining the authority of the police” and could have caused alarm among the patrons.

On Milan, the DPP said that the man was intoxicated and persisted in his attack on Chung.

This prompted the judge to question whether Milan’s actions only merited a fine. He commented that the prosecution was “being kind” in seeking a fine for the man.

Amarick Gill, the lawyer representing the couple, said that Svetlana understood the seriousness of her actions and had offered compensation to ASP Tham as early as March.

The couple addressed court separately to express their remorse and apologise.

DJ Joseph told Milan that his conduct was “quite disgraceful”. “You came to Singapore to work…you hold a responsible position, you should have known better,” said the judge.

“Your actions cannot be condoned. Consider yourself extremely fortunate that the prosecution did not ask for jail.”

For disorderly behaviour, Milan and Svetlana could have been jailed up to six months and/or fined $2,000. For using criminal force on a public servant, Svetlana could have been jailed up to four years and/or fined. For voluntarily causing hurt, Milan could have been jailed up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000.