Man who pulled out clump of policewoman's hair jailed 4 months

Singapore’s State Courts. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

A 31-year-old Singaporean man got so drunk and rowdy at a house party before 4pm on a Sunday afternoon that a neighbour had to call the police, a district court heard on Monday (24 September).

When the police arrived, Zhan Haixu placed his hand on a female officer’s jaw, and made a hand gesture and sound towards another policeman as if he was shooting a pistol at him. Zhan even pushed the officer on his chest.

When the female officer tried to arrest him, Zhan grabbed a fistful of her hair, pulling out a clump of hair in the process.

On Monday, Zhan was sentenced to a total of four months’ jail, having pleaded guilty to one count of using criminal force on a public servant and one charge of causing hurt to a public servant. He also admitted to another count of using criminal force, which was considered in sentencing.

Background to the case

The court heard that at about 4pm on 17 September last year, the police got a call about a domestic dispute at a HDB flat in Jurong West Street 81, with screams for 40 minutes.

When Sergeant Renny Elyani Ramli, 31, and Sergeant Muhammad Jameer Mohamed Mansoor, 26, arrived at the unit about 10 minutes later, they saw Zhan scuffling on the floor with his 36-year-old brother Zhao Lei and shouting. Zhan was at his brother’s house to celebrate a birthday and they had drank a bottle of whiskey together.

The officers separated the men, but Zhan refused to quieten down. After some time, his family members managed to persuade him to lie on a bed and sleep.

While the officers were advising the other family members to keep the noise levels down, however, Zhan suddenly got up and demanded that Sgt Renny leave the flat immediately. He also told her that he was her “superior” and shouted and pointed at both police officers, ignoring their warnings for him to calm down.

At about 4.20pm, Zhan placed his hands on the female officer’s jaw. She broke free and shouted at him not to touch her. The officers then stepped out of the flat to call for help.

Shortly after, Sgt Jameer heard shouting from the unit and saw Zhan struggling with his pregnant wife, who was trying to get him to sleep.

Concerned for her safety, the officer brought Zhan’s wife out of the bedroom. But Zhan followed them out and walked towards the officer aggressively while making a hand gesture and sound as if he was shooting a pistol at him, before pushing the officer’s chest.

While Sgt Renny was trying to handcuff Zhan, he violently resisted arrest by grabbing her hair, causing her spectacles to fall to the floor and a clump of her hair to be pulled out from her scalp. Zhan also struggled with Sgt Jameer and grabbed his arm.

The two officers eventually pinned him down on the floor and handcuffed him. The assault was captured on their body-worn cameras.

Sgt Renny sustained bruises on her face and scalp, abrasions on her forehead, and slightly blurred vision. She had to be referred to an ophthalmologist. Sgt Jameer had a scratch on his arm.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Rene Jeyaraj asked that a jail term of four months be imposed, while defence lawyer Mahmood Gaznavi asked for a fine instead.

District Judge Luke Tan agreed with the prosecution, based on previous cases of abuse of police officers. He imposed four weeks’ jail for the charge of using criminal force and four months’ jail for the charge of causing hurt, with both sentences to run concurrently.

The penalty for using criminal force on a public servant in the execution of his duty is a jail term of up to four years and/or a fine. The punishment for causing hurt to a public servant in the execution of his duty is up to seven years’ jail, a fine, caning, or any combination of such punishments.

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