Man jailed for punching cinema-goer who asked him to stop shaking leg

Wan Ting Koh
PHOTO: Getty Images

SINGAPORE — A man who punched a fellow cinema-goer who had asked him to stop shaking his leg during the movie was jailed for a day and fined $3,000 on Tuesday (3 December).

Clifton Wong Jun Han, who works as a fireman with the airport emergency service crew, pleaded guilty to one count of causing hurt to Lee Sin Fatt.

Wong, 23, also rained punches on Lee’s wife, Lim Chew Leng, when she tried to protect her husband.

On 1 August this year, Wong was watching a movie with his pregnant wife at Seletar Mall, located at 33 Sengkang West Avenue. Lee and Lim were seated right next to the couple.

During the movie, Wong started to shake his leg, disrupting Lee and his wife, who felt their seats moving. Lee then told Wong to stop shaking his leg.

When the movie ended at about 5.50pm, Wong stood up to leave. He claimed that he then accidentally tripped and stepped on Lee’s foot, but Lee did not respond.

As Wong left, he turned around and uttered a vulgarity to Lee, who ignored him.

Wong confronted Lee and began punching him repeatedly in the face. Lee raised his hands in self-defence. Lim attempted to stop Wong, who then punched the woman on her arms several times.

Lim and several passers-by eventually restrained Wong until security officers intervened. Police officers later responded to a call stating that Wong had beat up the couple “quite bad”.

Lee and his wife proceeded to Sengkang General Hospital. He suffered bruises on the back of his head and around his right eye, while Lim had bruises on her left arm.

Wong’s lawyer Gino Hardial Singh, said that his client’s wife was three months pregnant at the time and that the couple had been “experiencing considerable stress”. His wife had suffered bouts of heavy bleeding and the couple were concerned that the unborn child might have Down Syndrome.

Wong was also suffering from the withdrawal effects, having just quit smoking.

For some reason that he was unable to explain, he snapped and did something out of character in the spur of the moment, said the defence lawyer.

The victims did not suffer serious harm and no weapon was used, pointed out Singh, who asked for a $5,000 fine.

But District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt said that there was sufficient aggravating factors to warrant a jail term.

Wong displayed antisocial behaviour and became violent and vulgar to not only the victim, but the victim’s wife as well, said the judge.

For causing hurt, Wong could have been jailed up to two years, and/or fined $5,000.

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