Father and son attacked retail assistant with mild autism
Unhappy that a mildly autistic convenience store worker had swung his arm and hit his father, Norisam Mahmood Rabi, 42, stormed into the Cheers outlet at HarbourFront Centre and punched the retail assistant in the face.
Even after the worker showed his special needs card and apologised, father and son still attacked him, with Mahmood Rabi Jasman, 66, raining punches and kicks on the victim.
Yesterday, the older man pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntarily causing hurt to the retail assistant, who was not named in court documents, while his son pleaded guilty to one count of the same offence.
They each also faced a disorderly behaviour in a public place charge which was taken into consideration.
The court heard that Rabi was at the Cheers store with his wife on Feb 7 at 12.20am when he asked the victim, who was manning the cashier's counter, to help him heat up some food.
The victim walked over to Rabi and squatted on the floor.
After another customer approached him with a query and Rabi repeated his request, the victim stood up and swung his arm at Rabi twice.
The store supervisor came over to calm things down, telling Rabi the victim had "some mental problem".
Meanwhile, Rabi's wife left to tell Norisam about the incident and the younger man went into the store, shouted at the victim and punched him after his father pointed him out.
The victim then showed his special needs card and came out from behind the counter to apologise, but Rabi punched and kicked him until the store supervisor stopped it.
The pair left the store momentarily but Norisam returned with his father and was carrying a dustbin.
The store supervisor managed to get hold of the dustbin but Rabi kicked the victim again when he moved out from behind the cashier's counter and punched him at least five times.
The supervisor again stopped the attack and the pair eventually left the store for good.
Seeking two weeks' jail for Rabi and one week's jail for Norisam, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sunil Nair said the retail assistant was a vulnerable victim and there is a need to deter people from taking justice into their own hands.
The defence asked for fines for both men and at most a day's jail for Rabi, arguing that the victim was the initial aggressor.
But DPP Nair disagreed.
"We cannot condone such behaviour and then justify it by blaming the victim," he told District Judge Ong Chin Rhu.
Out on bail, Norisam and Rabi are expected to return to court on Jan 10 next year for sentencing.
For each count of causing hurt, they can be fined up to $5,000, jailed for up to two years, or both.