Singapore

Man who pushed female cop in the chest jailed two weeks

A judge accepted that pushing a female cop on the chest was "more aggravated" than if done against a male officer in jailing a 32-year-old drunk to two weeks' jail for the offence.

Benjamin Neo, 32, had admitted to the offence against the plainclothes policewoman outside St James Power Station on June 18 last year at about 6am.

Noting that there "was no suggestion that the accused had intended to outrage the modesty of the victim", Magistrate Wong Thai Chuan stressed the "strong policy reasons" that justified a jail term.

"Not only is there a need for our police officers to be protected through operation of our laws; it is in the public interest to ensure that the authority that they carry not be undermined," he said in judgment grounds released last week.

The victim, a police sergeant, was part of a police team deployed to conduct operations in the vicinity of St James Power Station at the time.

A commotion occurred in the open area outside and an investigating officer (IO) attended to the incident and conducted a check on one of those present.

While the checks progressed, the victim noticed Neo leading a group of 11 and approaching the IO in an aggressive manner, and she attempted to stop him.

Neo's friends tried to restrain him as well, but although he knew she was a cop, he still pushed her in the chest, and continued moving towards the IO. He was eventually arrested by another officer for using criminal force.

Neo, who was tipsy at the time of the offence, pleaded for leniency from the court, as his child had just been born at the time of the hearing.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Lim Yu Hui called for a minimum four weeks' jail term, citing past cases.

Magistrate Wong found that Neo's guilty plea was a genuine show of contrition. He noted Neo had pushed the police woman to get to the other officers and not as a deliberate act of aggression against her.

In jailing Neo for two weeks instead of longer, the judge noted he had acted on impulse with a low level of force.

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