A “staring incident” at Golden Mile Complex that escalated into an altercation ended with a man repeatedly stomping on his opponent’s face even after the latter fell unconscious.
The brutal assault by Wee Boon How, 24, was captured in several videos, which later made their rounds on social media.
Wee’s victim, 26-year-old Bong Hong Yun, was left with multiple facial fractures and required reconstructive surgery following the attack.
At the State Courts on Tuesday (19 February), Wee was jailed three years and nine months after he admitted to one count of voluntarily causing grievous hurt.
Wee, a former Koptiam attendant, also pleaded guilty to two counts of rioting in separate incidents. He had committed the offence at Golden Mile Complex while on bail for rioting and rioted once more while on bail for the offence against Bong.
“The first charge… ended up with the victim suffering serious injuries from an extended assault that can only be described as barbaric,” said District Judge Marvin Bay.
“If that wasn’t enough you… assaulted his friend who was trying to intervene.”
On 11 October 2017, Bong met a friend outside the Yajai Pub on the ground floor of Golden Mile Complex. While there, the duo crossed paths with Wee, who confronted Bong over a “staring incident”.
After exchanging vulgarities, Bong and Wee got into an altercation despite the intervention of their friends. In a video played in court, Wee was seen removing his sling bag and charging at Bong.
“The accused subsequently gained the upper hand in the fight, and at one point declared that he was from ‘gor chio beh‘, a secret society,” Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhou Yihong told the court.
At one point in the fight, Bong fell to the ground with Wee continuing to punch him until he fell unconscious. Wee then punched Bong again before repeatedly stomping on Bong’s face.
Bong was later taken to a hospital, where he was admitted for multiple facial fractures, including one on his right eye socket. The injuries required him to undergo reconstructive surgery.
Wee was arrested and charged for the assault on 16 October 2017.
Wee had earlier been involved in a scuffle at Queen Club, a Thai disco in Orchard Plaza, on 12 April 2017. He was questioned by the police about the incident on the same day and later released on police bail.
After being released on bail over the assault on Bong, Wee reoffended in another rioting incident on 28 October 2017. This time the incident took place at the now-defunct St James Power Station at Sentosa Gateway.
DPP Zhou sought a jail term of at least two years and 21 months, while noting that Wee had previously been jailed 18 months over a rioting offence in 2016.
Accused has low IQ, reacted to insult: lawyer
Wee’s lawyer, Wee Hong Shern, said in mitigation that his client was only 22 years old when he committed the offence and has a low IQ of 60 points.
According to the lawyer, his client was exempted from national service due his low IQ. It was also noted that the accused, who has a two-year-old son, had quit school at Secondary 2 to sell ice cream and keychains door-to-door.
“An all-consuming rage overwhelmed him due to an insult to his mother,” said Wee, who added that the accused’s mother had deserted him when he was seven years old.
Before being remanded, Wee worked as a Kopitiam attendant at a hawker stall earning $1,600. Part of his salary would be given to his father, whom he shares one-room flat with.
Wee, who is not married, also provides financial maintenance for his son.
‘I realised my mistake’
Addressing the court through an interpreter, Wee said, “I’m sorry for causing public unrest. I realised my mistake.
“I did not control my temper because at the time I drank a little too much… After all this I was the one to go down to the police station to surrender myself.”
In sentencing Wee, DJ Bay said there was “no place for acts of wanton group violence” especially for “trivial reasons such as from staring or swearing incidents.”
He noted that the prosecution had been “extremely moderate” in not seeking caning for Wee.
For voluntarily causing grievous hurt, Wee could have been jailed up to 10 years as well as fined or caned. For rioting, he could have been jailed up to seven years and caned.
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