Man jailed after killing security guard with one punch
Man jailed three years for causing death of security guard, 74, who told him off for peeing in public
Security guard Chew Choo Chian, 74 went to investigate a complaint about someone urinating in public at Fajar Shopping Centre in Bukit Panjang.
When he told the drunk man off, he was punched.
Mr Chew, who was posted to the mall just 10 days earlier, suffered spinal injuries, went into a coma and died a month later.
Yesterday, Teo Chin Lai, a 53-year-old food packer, was jailed for three years for one count of voluntarily causing grievous hurt.
He was convicted last week after a four-day trial.
Teo Chin Lai committed his offence at Fajar Shopping Centre. PHOTO: TNP FILE
Though it has been about 2½ years since the tragedy, Mr Chew's family still feel aggrieved over their unexpected loss, his younger brother told The New Paper yesterday.
On Nov 18, 2014, Mr Chew was working the night shift when he reprimanded Teo, who was drunk, for urinating behind a door in the mall.
Teo retaliated by grabbing Mr Chew's shirt, then pushed him out of the mall and punched him once on his upper body.
That single blow was so hard, it left Mr Chew with a spinal fracture and injuries to his spinal cord.
Teo Chin Lai was jailed three years. PHOTOS: THE STRAITS TIMES
Mr Chew went into a coma and was hospitalised for about a month before he died on Dec 28.
Yesterday's sentencing hearing was attended by his brother and two younger sisters.
Afterwards, his brother, who declined to be named, said: "He had enough savings to retire, but he took the job to pass the time.
"He was just doing his job as a security guard when he received a complaint about someone urinating in public. He went to check, and that man assaulted him.
"We are still very sad over it. We never thought such a thing would happen."
Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Si En said in her submissions that Mr Chew was responsible for the safety and security of the mall.
She said: "There had been no provocation or wrongdoing in any form on the part of Mr Chew. The accused had assaulted an innocent security guard in the course of his duty."
DPP Tan added that Mr Chew's injuries were similar to cases of people falling off a moving horse, being in an accident with the car flipping upside down or a falling down the stairs.
She said: "Further, these injuries eventually led to Mr Chew's death after being in a coma for a month.
"This is the most serious consequence of any offence that can be caused to any person."
Teo, who was not represented by a lawyer, said in mitigation that he was remorseful and apologised for what he did. He also begged the court for just a fine because he would lose his job if he were jailed.
But District Judge Tan Jen Tsesaid a jail term was warranted due to the seriousness of the offence as the victim had died.
The judge allowed him to defer his sentence by a week to sort out personal matters, but ordered him to contact the investigation officer every two days.
Mr Chew's brother said Teo had never approached his family to say sorry.
"His saying sorry in court was the first time we heard of it."
Mr Chew is survived by his wife and their two children, who are in their 40s, said his brother.
His widow was so distraught that she chose not to attend the hearing.
"She also did not want to see the accused," said his brother.
When TNP visited Mr Chew's home in Bukit Panjang last evening, a man believed to be his son opened the door but declined to comment.
For voluntarily causing grievous hurt, Teo could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined.