A New Zealander man was fined $2,500 on Tuesday (20 Dec) for hurting a man in 2014. The accused, Stefan Paul Afendoulis (48), pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to his victim.
He was also ordered by the District Judge, Luke Tan, to pay $57.15 to Toh Peng Hwee, the victim, for his medical bills.
On 12 August 2014, Afendoulis, a company director and a Singapore Permanent Resident, was reading emails on his mobile phone at a McDonald’s outlet in Yishun when he collided with another customer.
Toh, the man he collided with, shouted at Afendoulis. It was claimed that Afendoulis grabbed Toh’s neck and pushed him against the wall in fear that Toh was going to assault him. Afendoulis had initially claimed trial to causing hurt by grabbing Toh’s neck and knocking his head repeatedly against a wall.
After a seven-day trial, when the court amended the charge to only grabbing Mr Toh’s neck and pushed him against a wall, which Afendoulis pleaded guilty.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Michael Quilindo has stressed that there was absolutely no basis or reason for Afendoulis to have behaved in the way he did against a complete stranger.
“His actions were disproportionate to any perceived threat and the prosecution submits that the claim of the accused of acting defensively should be wholly rejected,” he said.
He submitted that Mr Toh was ‘throttled’ at the neck which caused him to have difficulties breathing, “He was attacked at a vulnerable part of the body with no chance of retaliation,” DPP Quilindo said.
The prosecutor also pointed that Afendoulis showed no remorse after the incident. The prosecution witnesses had testified that he flaunted his wealth to the victim in being able to hire a lawyer in an arrogant manner.
Afendoulis’ lawyer Shashi Nathan said his client, a father of two, would be willing to plead guilty to the present amended charge. He was forced to claim trial because the charge had stated that he repeatedly knocked the victim’s head against the wall, which he didn’t do.
Pleading for a fine of up to $1,000, Nathan said his client had stated at the start of the hearing that he would be pleading guilty to the charge. Nathan also pointed that while Afendoulis sat down calmly with his wife after the confrontation while the victim continued to behave in an agitated manner.
In delivering his sentence Judge Tan noted that he took into consideration that the assault took place in a public place frequented by children.
The maximum penalty for causing hurt is imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine which may extend to $5,000, or with both.