The twin sisters who were filmed assaulting and spitting on a condominium manager were found guilty of their offences after a protracted trial lasting 21 days over two years.
Chinese nationals Tang Bei and Tang Lei, both 50, received their verdict on Thursday (19 July) for the incident in 2015. A viral video of the incident shows the sisters involved in a heated confrontation with condominium manager Colvin Quek Choon Kiat in Simei Green over the issue of an access card.
Tang Bei, who is a Singapore Permanent Resident, was convicted of one count each of causing hurt to and using criminal force on Quek, while Tang Lei, who was on a special pass, was convicted of two similar counts. They were also convicted on one count of causing hurt to security guard Bligh Charles Kenneth, who was trying to intervene during the argument between Quek and the twins.
According to the prosecution, Quek first met Tang Bei sometime in February 2015 after he was informed by security that someone was tailgating others to exit the side gate of the executive condominium. When Quek approached Tang Bei to ask if she had an access card, the latter told him it was “none of his business” and that she had “no time for him”. Quek told Tang Bei to visit the condominium office as the woman slipped out of the gate.
On 25 February, Tang Bei visited the office alone and passed Quek two $50 notes to pay for an access card but failed to provide relevant documents, including a tenancy agreement and an identity card. When Quek asked for the documents, Tang Bei asked for the return of her money before a dispute broke out between them.
Tang Bei became aggressive and tried to enter the counter as she pressed her body towards Quek. She then hit Quek on his head a few times before threatening to sue him for molest. She took her money before leaving the office. Quek lodged a police report following the incident.
Quek next encountered Tang Bei on 28 April that year when she came to the office with Tang Lei. Sensing that an encounter similar to one in February might occur, he placed his handphone on a cabinet to record the twins’ actions.
Tang Bei told Quek to go away as she did not want to see Quek’s “ugly face” and used an expletive on the manager. After Quek responded to her comment, Tang Bei was enraged and a dispute ensued. Tang Lei splashed liquid from a can on Quek repeatedly while Tang Bei spat at his face.
Security guard Kenneth, who entered the office earlier, intervened but the sisters continued their attack on Quek, including throwing a bunch of keys and the empty can at him.
Quek was assessed at a hospital to have bruises and abrasions over his face and head.
In mitigation, the twins’ lawyer, Richard Siaw, asked presiding District Judge Sarah Tan for a fine of not more than $1,000 on the charges of causing hurt and not more than $500 on the charges of using criminal force. He said that his clients were first-time offenders and their actions arose out of “impulse as a consequence of (Quek’s) provocation”.
The prosecution brought the hearing to an abrupt halt after telling the court that a stern warning for Tang Bei for forgery in an unrelated incident on 24 April 2015 would be administered to her after the case.
The announcement surprised Siaw and prompted Tang Bei, who was in the dock at the time, to cry “never” and “lies” in English.
The proceedings were adjourned for almost 10 minutes, during which Tang Bei could be heard raising her voice in Chinese outside of the courtroom while she was speaking to Siaw.
When the hearing resumed, Siaw told the court that the separate incident in 2015 arose from a misunderstanding between herself and her ex-boss, who has since withdrawn the matter.
Siaw added that the sisters would not be paying compensation to Quek, as suggested by the prosecution, as they viewed themselves as victims in the matter. The twins are currently involved in two ongoing civil suits against Quek and his employer, Hilandas Property and Facilities Management.
Sentencing for the criminal case has been adjourned to 28 August for more submissions to be made from both the defence and prosecution.