Singapore

Jail for police NSF who pointed gun at fellow NSF

Two months' term also factors in accused pulling trigger and lying


A police full-time national serviceman (NSF) who pointed an empty revolver at another NSF, pulled the trigger and later lied about it, was sentenced to two months' jail yesterday.

Justin Degoulange-Chua, 21, was the leader of a patrol team attached to the Public Transport Security Command (Transcom) when he caused alarm to the victim, Mr Muhammad Syukri Rahiman, 21, in a police room at Bugis MRT station on March 5 last year.

Degoulange-Chua, who is now a student, also admitted to giving false information to a public servant on May 5 the same year, when he said he did not point the firearm at anyone but had taken it out to check it.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ho Lian-Yi said Degoulange-Chua was deployed to conduct foot patrols with the victim and three others that day.

It was the first day of patrols for the victim and another NSF police officer, after the completion of the basic Transcom course.

Hours later, when they were taking a break in the police room, Degoulange-Chua talked about the team's culture, which required rookies to perform push-ups and jumping jacks, among other things.

He then ordered the victim to get into a push-up position.

When the victim was on all fours, DPP Ho said the accused took out the victim's extendable T-baton from the holster, and placed it on the victim's back, and told him to continue with the push-ups.

The victim managed to do only one before the T-baton fell to the floor. The accused then told the victim to get up.

The assistant group leader who witnessed the entire incident, recorded it discreetly on his mobile phone and later, shared it via the online social media app Snapchat.

When the victim was sitting at a table, Degoulange-Chua unbuckled his right holster, drew his Taurus revolver and took out all the five live rounds.

He then placed four live rounds on the table and held one in his left hand.

After closing the chamber of the revolver, he asked the victim how many bullets were on the table. The victim replied that there were four.

Degoulange-Chua then said there was one round in the revolver. He pointed the weapon at the victim and squeezed the trigger at least once.

DPP Ho said: "The victim jumped out of his seat in alarm and shouted for the accused to stop. The victim was afraid that he would be hurt or even killed if the revolver was, in fact, loaded."

The accused lied in a written statement to a Transcom Base officer on May 5 last year that he did not point his revolver at anyone.

He came clean more than three months later.

DPP Ho told the court that the accused violated the trust placed in him by using his firearm to bully and strike fear into one of his own men.

Degoulange-Chua's lawyer S. Balamurugan said his client had apologised to the victim.

He said the incident caused great anxiety for his client.

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