SINGAPORE — After a night out with friends and colleagues, an unmasked drunk man began verbally abusing police officers who tried to help him at Jurong Point Shopping Centre.
Holland Gary Joseph Bates, 37, was fined $4,000 on Thursday (14 October) after pleading guilty to using abusive words against a public servant, and failing to wear a mask in public, with two similar charges considered for his sentencing. The Briton is an international school teacher.
On 26 June last year, at 1.36 am, the police received a call from a man stating that “two drunk Caucasians are causing trouble here”. The location given was a walkway outside Jurong Point, outside an Old Chang Kee outlet.
Two teams of police officers made their way down a few minutes later and saw security officers speaking to Bates. One team of officers, comprising Sergeant Muhammad Nasri Mustafa and Sergeant Chua Kian Tiong, then approached Bates, while the other team approached the person who made the phone call.
As Chua and Nasri approached Bates, they identified themselves with their authority card, but Bates, who was not wearing a mask, threatened to kick them if they came closer. The pair said that they were there to help Bates but the latter was hostile, saying that he would “take them down” if they touched him, just as “the others” had done to him. Bates did not specify who “the others” were.
When Nasri requested for Bates’ identity card, Bates hurled profanities, insisting “you police can’t do anything to me”. Nasri asked Bates to leave the premises, but was ignored. He insisted that “somebody” had done “something” to him.
When Bates turned to look away, Nasri pinned him to the ground while Chua handcuffed him, prompting Bates to say, “f*** off, you can’t arrest me”. He was arrested.
He was also asked where his mask was, but Bates replied that he did not know.
Bates’ lawyer Sankar Saminathan said that after a long period of unemployment, his client returned to teaching in an international school and wanted to make Singapore his home after marrying his girlfriend.
The lawyer said that there was an incident involving another group of people which had turned ugly. As Bates was drunk, he thought the incident was still ongoing when the police approached him.
Bates had been out with his colleagues and friends that night to try to feel better as there was a possibility of losing their jobs.
“He wasn’t aware of what happened that night so it took me a while to explain to him. After viewing the video, I told him this is what happened. He has no recollection of exactly what happened after the police came. He is very remorseful for what has happened,” said the lawyer.
“I’m asking for Your Honour’s compassion because he is gainfully employed again after losing his job for a period of time. He is really not a serious threat. It is just a one-off incident,” he added.
Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore