Woman jailed for hurling signage at SIA staff

This article is more than 12 months old

Victim suffered cuts to her nose and eyebrow

A woman from China threw a signage at a Singapore Airlines (SIA) ticketing staff member after she failed to get a boarding pass at Changi Airport for a flight bought through a family member's credit card.

The 25cm by 6cm signage hit the victim's face and she suffered an open wound at the nose and left eyebrow, respectively.

Yesterday, Chang Lihui, 33, was given 24 days' jail for hurting Ms Sharin Chan Suet Gek, 30, by doing an act so rashly as to endanger her personal safety on June 11.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Teo Lu Jia said Chang had gone to Changi Airport that evening to collect her SIA ticket after she had used a family member's credit card to book it.

Ms Chan checked and confirmed that Chang had an air ticket booked under her name.

But she found the details on the passport did not match the credit card details.

When asked, Chang replied that the credit card belonged to a family member in Beijing. She could not verify who the person was nor whether the owner had consented to the purchase.

Chang asked for the boarding pass, saying that she had called the airline earlier to book the ticket.

But Ms Chan said she was unable to issue the boarding pass as Chang could not verify who owned the credit card.

Ms Chan advised her to inform the owner to contact the SIA office in China to confirm that the owner had consented to the purchase.

Chang said she did not have a mobile phone with her and that she was unable to reach the credit card owner. She shouted and used abusive words against Ms Chan, said DPP Teo.

Ms Chan then sought the help of her male colleague, who told Chang that the airline could not accede to her request.

Chang refused to listen and scolded him. He then left the victim alone with Chang.

Chang asked for a refund, but Ms Chan said that it would take two to three weeks to process her request.

Chang became angrier and pointed a finger at Ms Chan, scolding her at the same time.

Ms Chan moved backwards and told her supervisor over the phone about the situation.

Chang then picked up a "Counter Closed" sign and forcefully threw it towards Ms Chan. It hit her face and she screamed in pain, bleeding from cuts on her left eyebrow and nose bridge.

Chang was arrested at her hotel the next day.

An Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist said she has schizophrenia, but was not of unsound mind at the time of the offence.

DPP Teo had asked for a sentence of at least three weeks' jail, given the extent and severity of the victim's injuries, potential serious harm and targeting of a vulnerable spot.

Chang, whose sentence was backdated to July 1, could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined up to $5,000 for the offence.

SIA said on its website that it is mandatory for cardholders to present their credit or debit cards in person if they had used the card to purchase a flight for someone else.