Singapore — Stuart Boyd Mills, who was caught on video on April 4 of this year striking a security guard at Roxy Square was given a one-week jail sentence on September 23, Monday.
According to his lawyer, Ramesh Tiwary, Mr Mills has been on the receiving end of hate mail and abuse ever since the video of him striking security guard Andrew Lim at Roxy Square went viral. The lawyer added that Mr Mills has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder since the incident occurred.
Mr Mills, a permanent resident of Singapore, was charged on April 24, with one count of voluntarily causing hurt and another of intentionally harassing security supervisor Andrew Lim, who works at Regal Security and Fire Management.
On September 23 he pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt, with a second charge of using abusive words taken into consideration for sentencing.
The video of Mr Mills, age 47, was featured in the Facebook page All Singapore Stuff on April 5, and quickly went viral. In the footage, which is supposed to have been filmed the previous day, the two men were seen arguing at 50 East Coast Road past midnight on April 4.
Mr Lim diplomatically told Mr Mills that he can show him where the exit doors are, asking him “can we talk nicely?”
As they walk away from the camera toward an exit, with Mr Mills still speaking loudly and belligerently, it appeared that the UK national stuck his foot out and tripped Mr Lim. Whether he did this on purpose or inadvertently cannot be determined. This resulted in Mr Mills getting even angrier, and then he is seen striking the security supervisor on the face, with the blow clearly heard on the video.
Mr Lim can be seen falling on the floor.
At this point, a third party intervenes and Mr Mills can be heard shouting another profanity and then walking away. Mr Lim’s colleague, who filmed the video clip, called the police at this point.
Mr Lim was placed on medical leave after the incident, as he needed to go for a CT scan. Regal Security and Fire Management Services’ general manager Mr K Bhaskaran said of Mr Lim after the incident, “He’s feeling a little bit of pain on his left side. He had a bad fall as well, his glasses were all broken. The punch was quite a heavy blow on him.”
Mr Mills attempted to apologize to Mr Lim, having returned to Roxy Square on the afternoon of April 5.
Mr Bhaskaran said, “He came in and wanted to apologise, he asked the manager to talk to Andrew. Andrew said, ‘no, no apology’. Then he called me and told me that guy is here, I told him (to) call the police immediately.”
According to Deputy Public Prosecutor Vincent Ong, Mr Mills had carried out an “unprovoked and thuggish attack” on a security officer who was simply doing his duty, and asked for two weeks of jail time for Mr Mills. He also mentioned Mr Mills’ inebriated state at that time, and said that the guard had fallen due to a “single forceful blow to the head”.
However, Mr Tiwary said that Mr Mills was “utterly remorseful for what he had done.
The surest sign of his remorse is the fact that he had returned to the scene when he realised what he had done and he had returned to the scene to apologise to the victim, even though he knew that by returning, it would lead to his own identification.”
Mr Tiwary, who had paid S$2,000 in compensation to the victim, had said from the beginning that he wanted to plead guilty.
”He realises the embarrassment he has caused the victim and he’s trying to make compensation by paying the victim something. He has repeatedly said to me that he regrets his actions. They were uncalled for, and he understands that.”
Mr Mills has no previous offenses in Singapore or any other country, according to his lawyer, who added, “He realised when he saw the video how bizarre and unexplainable his behaviour was. He has been seeking medical help, he has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder. I’m not saying there’s any causal link, but he’s taking steps to reform his behaviour.”
District Judge Christopher Tan agreed with the prosecution that security guards are sometimes put in precarious positions. “And unlike the police, they do not have the necessary legal powers to protect themselves from that risk and this is a factor that can be taken to support the conclusion that they are deserving of a certain degree of protection.”
Mr Mills could have been fined a maximum of S$5,000, be jailed for 2 months, or both for a conviction./ TISG