Non-practising lawyer Ravi Madasamy, better known as M Ravi, pleaded guilty in court on Monday (27 November) to assaulting lawyer Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss in August this year.
Mr Ravi, 48, admitted to assaulting the 54-year-old woman at about 11 am on 8 August her office which located in the seventh-storey corridor at The Adelphi, causing her to fall, which later resulted her to suffer pain on her right shoulder, right hip and right buttock and left bruises on her right hip.
He also pleaded guilty to causing hurt to a second lawyer, Mr Nakoorsha Abdul Kadir, 42, by by throwing a handbag at him at the same spot minutes later.
Mr Ravi also pleaded guilty to breaking into the office of his former colleague Eugene Thuraisingam at People’s Park Centre on the fifth storey on 27 June, when he used a screwdriver to open the metal shutter door of the office.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Ong stated that the law firm employed Ravi late last year and he worked in its People’s Park Centre office. However, he was terminated and was told in a hand-delivered letter that he had to vacate the premises by 16 June. Court papers did not reveal the reason for his termination.
According to the court document, he committed this offence with his friend Lai Yew Thiam, 56, whose case is still pending.
The two of them broke into the office on 17 and 23 June even though he had been told to vacate it premises.
The police were notified on both occasions and representatives from the firm told the pair that they were not welcome there, as well as changing the locks and hiring a contractor to secure its shutter with screws.
They later insisted to get inside the premises on 27 June armed with a screwdriver. Mr Lai used the tool to remove the screws and they entered the premises.
On 8 August, Mr Ravi went to the Eugene Thuraisingam law firm’s other office at The Adelphi and demanded to be allowed inside.
He was accompanied by three other men working for an organisation which he had earlier founded, known as the Lawyers Alliance for Human Rights Asia.
However, the four of them were not allowed to enter and as they were walking away, they met Mrs Chong-Aruldoss who works at the firm.
According to DPP Ong, “Ravi stopped Jeannette abruptly and began questioning her aggressively. When Jeannette tried to walk away, Ravi forcefully pushed her, charged towards her and pushed her again. As a result, Jeannette stumbled backwards and fell onto the ground on the right side of her body.”
“While Jeannette was on the ground, Ravi kicked and flung Jeannette’s belongings, which were scattered on the ground, and also threw a shoe in Jeannette’s direction while mocking her for being ‘drama’,” he added.
When her colleague, Mr Nakoorsha, stepped in, Ravi picked up her handbag and threw it at his face.
Mr Shashi Nathan, Mr Ravi’s defence lawyer, told District Judge Brenda Tan that Mr Ravi is well known for “championing the constitutional and human rights of his clients”, adding that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006 and has been taking his medication following his arrest this August.
Mr Ravi then stood at his dock and told Judge Tan that he was “mortified” by his own behaviour, saying, “For those who know me in private and in public, those actions were totally out of character.”
Judge Tan has called for a report to access his suitability for a mandatory treatment order.
Under this, offenders have to undergo treatment in lieu of jail time. However, the order can be revoked if they re-offend or fail to comply with the conditions of their treatment.
Mr Ravi is now out on $20,000 bail and will be back in court on 5 January.
Four other charges, including two of committing public nuisance at the Sri Mariamman Temple on 31 July and 11 August this year, will be taken into consideration during his sentencing.