Man fined $2,500 for hurting another

Man fined $2,500 for hurting another
Afendoulis last month pleaded guilty to an amended charge of grabbing the victim’s neck and pushing him against a wall. Besides being fined, he had to compensate the victim for his medical fees.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

While he was engrossed with reading the e-mails on his phone, New Zealander Stefan Paul Afendoulis, 48, got into a collision with Mr Toh Peng Hwee, a teacher, causing a "tangling of legs".

Afendoulis, a Singapore permanent resident, grabbed Mr Toh's neck and pinned him against a wall at Safra Yishun McDonald's in Yishun Avenue 4 at about 8am on Aug 12, 2014.

He stopped only when other parties, including his wife, shouted at him.

Yesterday, the company director was fined $2,500 and ordered to pay $57 compensation to Mr Toh, now 43, for his medical expenses.

Afendoulis had initially claimed trial after being originally accused of grabbing Mr Toh's neck and knocking his head against the wall repeatedly.

After a seven-day trial, District Judge Luke Tan amended the charge to that of grabbing the victim's neck and pushing him against a wall.

Afendoulis then pleaded guilty to the amended charge last month.

The court had heard that a commotion broke out after the two men bumped into each other.

Afendoulis claimed that Mr Toh tried to grab his arm while he was walking away.

He then grabbed Mr Toh's neck.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Michael Quilindo said although the victim's injuries were not particularly severe, Mr Toh was "throttled", causing him to have difficulty breathing.

He was attacked at a vulnerable part of the body with no chance of retaliation.

He added that Afendoulis showed no remorse immediately after the incident and flaunted his wealth to the victim, saying he was able to hire a lawyer.

The prosecution witnesses had testified that Afendoulis said this with an arrogant tone.

The DPP said there was no reason for Afendoulis to have behaved in the way he did with a complete stranger.

"His actions were disproportionate to any perceived threat and the prosecution submits that the accused's claims of acting 'defensively' should be wholly rejected," he said.

Afendoulis' lawyer Shashi Nathan said his client, a father of two, would have been willing at the outset to plead guilty to the present amended charge.

He was forced to claim trial because the original charge had stated that he repeatedly knocked the victim's head against the wall.

Afendoulis' lawyer said his client grabbed the victim's neck and pushed him against the wall to hold him there as he believed the victim was about to assault him.

The maximum penalty for causing hurt is two years' jail and a $5,000 fine.

elena@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Dec 21, 2016.
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