Singapore

Couple 'sorry', fined for berating, shoving man

The couple caught in a viral video berating an elderly man in a Toa Payoh hawker centre made an apology yesterday after they were fined.

A tearful Tay Puay Leng later told reporters she had "snapped" that day.

"I was hoping I could say sorry to (76-year-old Ng Ai Hua) in person. But because the investigations were going on, the police did not allow me to do that."

She had been going through a difficult time being the sole caregiver to her 89-year-old bedridden grandmother, she added.

Her partner, Chow Chuin Yee, hopes everybody can give them a chance while stressing there was "no excuse" for his behaviour.

"After watching the video, I feel disgusted with myself."

Tay, 38, a tutor, was fined $1,200 for using abusive words on the retiree with intent to cause alarm and Chow, 45, a director at Novel Learning Centre, was fined $1,500 for using criminal force. He admitted to bumping Mr Ng forcefully.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kumaresan Gohulabalan said the couple did not know Mr Ng, who had a tray of food and asked to sit at the table Tay was trying to reserve.

A dispute arose when she refused to let him occupy one of the five seats.

She verbally abused him and then called Chow for help.

He later barged into Mr Ng, causing him to fall forward and hold on to the table for support.

In mitigation, the couple's lawyer, Mr S. Balamurugan, said Tay had acted "completely out of character", and Chow "regrets the embarrassment he had caused his family, friends and himself".

District Judge Kan Shuk Weng told Tay: "Your actions were unthoughtful and not acceptable."

Mr Ng could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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