Singapore

Ex-auxiliary police officer jailed for firing shotgun at crows in rash manner

An auxiliary police officer deployed to cull crows in Hougang risked injuring residents in the area when he fired a shotgun despite knowing that nearby buildings were in his line of fire.

As a result, multiple shotgun pellets became lodged in the front door of a flat 23m away.

"If the pellets had hit a human body, they could have caused skin perforation and would have endangered the personal safety of other persons in the area," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong, adding the probability of a shotgun bird-shot pellet causing a fatal wound was low.

Lance Corporal Eric Kow, who worked for Certis, committed the offence on Feb 12 last year. He was in a car with his then colleague, Corporal Joseph Goh Chin Peng, a part-time auxiliary police officer, when they saw some crows in a tree near the Hougang block of flats at around 3.30pm.

They parked near the block and Kow alighted with a loaded shotgun, leaving his body-worn camera behind.

Goh, the safety officer, did not display warning signs or cordon off the area. He failed to clear the area of onlookers or redirect human and vehicular traffic. He was not around when Kow fired the gun.

Kow, 23, a Malaysian, was yesterday given four weeks' jail after pleading guilty to performing a rash act that could endanger the safety of others. Goh, 27, a Singaporean, was fined $2,500 after pleading guilty to abetting him in committing the offence.

They were dismissed from service on April 15 last year.

The DPP told Senior District Judge Bala Reddy: "Neither Goh nor Kow deployed the warning sign or cordon as they knew was required, as they did not want to alert the crows."

The court heard that Goh remained in the car despite knowing that as a safety officer, he was supposed to assist Kow by looking out for the safety of the public.

Kow then fired one shot and killed two crows before leaving the scene with their carcasses.

A woman resting at home in a nearby flat heard a loud sound and later found multiple holes on her front door and metal pieces nearby. She then alerted the police, the court heard.

No one was injured in the incident. - THE STRAITS TIMES

COURT & CRIME