Customer jailed for threatening mechanic

SINGAPORE - After waiting for nearly 12 hours at a motor workshop, Goh Chin Sien had enough and decided to go elsewhere to fix his car.

But a dispute broke out, and the 36-year-old pulled out a penknife, grabbed a mechanic, and threatened to stab him in the neck.

On Thursday, the cargo officer was sentenced to three weeks in jail after pleading guilty to criminal intimidation by threatening Mr Chow Kok Yong.

Goh's lawyer S.S. Dhillon asked the court to impose only a fine, saying his client "blew his mind over the long wait and the attitude of the mechanics".

He also said his client's second child was born just 21 days ago. Goh is married to a 34-year-old housewife and they have a three-year-old son.

But District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim told Goh: "I can understand the frustration of waiting all day but it is still no justification for what you did."

At 8am on Jan 14, Goh drove his car to the BMS Motorsports workshop at Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 2A for repairs. Only at about 2pm did a technician go with him for a test drive.

The car stalled and Goh hired a tow truck for $80 to return it to the workshop. Still, no mechanic attended to him.

At 6pm, he received a call from a friend, identified in court papers as Alex, who suggested towing it to his workshop which was nearby.

Goh walked over there, and called a towing service. He also slipped a penknife from Alex's workshop into his bermuda shorts, then returned to BMS.

When the tow truck arrived at about 7pm, its path was blocked by other cars requiring repairs.

The tow-truck driver asked a mechanic to move one of the vehicles blocking the driveway, but was told that its keys were not available. When Goh discovered that the car was not locked, he became angry.

Mr Chow, 25, came to check on the commotion but Goh grabbed him and pointed the blade of the 14cm-long penknife at the mechanic's neck.

"Do you believe that I will use this to stab you in the neck?" Goh asked his victim.

Two other mechanics intervened and disarmed him. Goh left and his car was towed away.

Mr Chow went to the police at 11.30pm, and Goh was arrested the next day. The penknife was not recovered.

The offence of criminal intimidation involving a death threat is punishable with a jail term of up to seven years or a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

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