Jail for ex-Certis officer who fired live round in toilet while fiddling with his gun

Osmond Chia
The Straits Times
Mar 11, 2022

Stressed about financial matters, a Certis Cisco auxiliary police officer fiddled with his gun and rashly fired one round in a toilet at HarbourFront Centre in January last year.

No one was injured and the police found him still inside the toilet after he promptly reported the incident.

Goh Ze Lin, 37, who has since been fired by the security firm, pleaded guilty on Friday (March 11) to committing a rash act that endangered the lives of others and was jailed for nine weeks.

The court heard that there were two other people in the toilet who had entered during the time Goh went in to the moment he reported the incident.

Goh, who held the rank of Corporal then, was deployed alone for auxiliary policing duties on Jan 8 last year at the OCBC bank branch at HarbourFront Centre.

He was issued with a Taurus 85 revolver that was loaded with five 0.38-inch live rounds for his duties, and another five spare rounds in a speed loader.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong said the weapon had a range of 46m and was "potentially lethal".

Goh went to the toilet on the second floor at around 11.40am that day and fiddled with his revolver while seated on a toilet bowl.

DPP Wong said: "The accused was trained and certified to handle and use the revolver and knew that officers were not to draw or use their revolvers without threat.

"As he thought about his financial matters, the accused rashly squeezed the trigger, causing a single round to be discharged from the revolver."

No one was injured in the incident and the round hit the floor, causing a small dent to a tile.

Goh then informed a Certis Cisco operations manager about the incident and was told to stay put and wait for the police, who arrived at the scene and found him waiting in the toilet. His weapon was seized.

Investigators found that the trigger had been deliberately pulled to discharge the live round.

A doctor from the Institute of Mental Health found that Goh had a "transient situational reaction", and said Goh did not have any mental disorder at the time.

Seeking a jail term of 10 weeks for Goh, DPP Wong said: "Although the revolver was pointed downwards and eventually hit the floor, the bullet could have ricocheted and hit either himself or other persons using the public toilet."

He noted that Goh was remorseful and cooperated with the authorities in alerting Certis Cisco almost immediately and remaining at the scene.

For committing a rash act as to endanger the personal safety of others, Wu could have faced a maximum sentence of six months' jail and $2,500 in fines.

The Straits Times

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