Earlier this year, Stuart Boyd Mills made social media headlines for punching security guard Andrew Lim Cheng Hock, 59, in the face after he couldn’t find his way out of Roxy Square Shopping Centre.
Mills, 47 and a permanent resident in Singapore was jailed for a week on Monday, the 23rd of September 2019.
The altercation between Stuart Boyd Mills and security guard Andrew Lim Cheng Hock was recorded by one of Lim’s colleagues. Footage of the incident was circulated online, sparking outrage amongst netizens.
The incident began on the 3rd of April, when Lim began his shift as a security supervisor at Roxy Square at about 8pm. At about 10.30pm, Mills, a creative freelancer, began drinking with his friend at the pub “Cyril and Friends”.
It was reported by the prosecution that Mills downed about a third of a bottle of whiskey and felt drunk. At about midnight, he left for home. After wandering around the mall looking for an unlocked exit, he didn’t manage to find one.
“Frustrated at being unable to find an unlocked exit, (Mills) spoke to one of the security officers on duty, one Krishnan Krishna, and demanded to see the security supervisor over the perceived lack of working exits,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Vincent Ong.
Krishnan brought Mills to the fire control station to speak to Lim, who was the supervisor on duty. Lim told Mills that there were two exits still open and two fire exits that were operational. At this point, Mills was intoxicated and smelt of alcohol.
The security officer then offered to show Mills the exit but Mills was dissatisfied and quarrelled with him over the number of exits in the building.
In the video, it was observed that Mills told Lim to “..Shut the f*** up” and called him an “idiot”. As Lim showed Mills the way out, Mills blocked his way with his body and used his right foot to trip Lim.
While Lim stumbled, he did not fall. Mills lost his balance and almost fell. Angered, Mills punched Lim on the right side of his face. Lim fell backward from the attack and broke his spectacles.
Mills then told Lim to “f*** off” before leaving the scene. Lim then called for the police.
After the incident, Mills viewed footage he had also recorded and confided in his wife. He then returned to Roxy Square to apologise to Lim.
Lim was diagnosed with swelling and tenderness around his right eye. He was given 12 days’ medical leave and incurred $1,070.82 in medical expenses.
Mills has voluntarily given compensation of $2,000 to Lim, including $248 for Lim to replace his spectacles.
“The accused committed an unprovoked and thuggish attack on a security officer who was simply doing his duty,” said DPP Ong, who asked for two weeks’ jail.
Mills’ assault was “highly unprovoked”. When Mills’ attempt to trip Lim was foiled and resulted in Mills himself almost falling, he had taken his anger out on Lim, said the DPP.
Ramesh Tiwary, who represented Mills, asked for a fine or a short jail term for Mills, whom he said was “utterly remorseful” for his actions.
“The surest sign is the fact that he had returned to the scene when he realised what he had done, and he had returned to apologise to victim even though he knew that by returning it would lead to his identification and arrest,” said the lawyer.
Mills sought medical help after viewing his recording and was diagnosed with major depressive disorder.
Since the incident, Mills had become “the subject of abuse and hatred through messages received on phone and letters sent to (his) address because someone released his personal info online”, said Tiwary, adding that the latest hate mail that Mills received was two weeks ago.
DJ Tan said that a jail term was warranted, noting that the attack was entirely unprovoked.
“Furthermore, the victim tried to walk away but the accused did not allow him to do so and went after him. The attack was not one-off and the accused tried to trip the victim,” said the DJ.
The attack also hit a sensitive part of body, which is the face, and the punch thrown by Mills wasn’t light as it broke the victim’s glasses, the judge added.
For voluntarily causing hurt, Mills could have been jailed for up to two years, a maximum fine of $5,000, or both.