Man who crowdfunded more than $200k for his baby verbally abused cops in 40-min tirades

David Sun
The New Paper
July 28, 2019

A British man who crowdfunded about $200,000 for his premature baby and partner verbally abused police officers with almost a hundred expletives after a night of drinking.

Patraic Fionnbharr Walsh-Kavanagh was fined $10,800 yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of drunkenness in a public place and two counts of using abusive words towards a public servant.

Three similar charges were taken into consideration.

His partner, Ms Chloe Wilkinson, 30, gave birth while the couple were on a two-day layover in Singapore in February.

She was just 24 weeks pregnant at the time, and her baby weighed just 0.86kg and had to remain in intensive care.

They later said the hospital fees amounted to about $250,000, and raised more than $200,000 from crowdfunding sites and GoFundMe.

Many Singaporeans are believed to have made donations.

The money was to be used to settle the medical bills and for the family to return to the United Kingdom.

The court heard yesterday that on the evening of May 23, Walsh-Kavanagh, 27, went to a restaurant at Robertson Quay with his partner and friends.

He drank five pints of beer at the restaurant, then had two more alcoholic drinks at another bar.

At about 1am the next day, he went to a Mohamed Sultan Road bar named Uncabunca, which he had patronised earlier that night.

He was told that it was closed, but Walsh-Kavanagh gestured that he wanted more drinks and refused to leave.

When he became rowdy, the bar's assistant manager called the police. Two officers turned up and arrested the Briton at 1.16am.

They took him to their vehicle to try to ascertain his identity as he did not have identification papers.

Walsh-Kavanagh told them his son was born prematurely before launching a 20-minute expletive-laden tirade at the officers, which was captured on one of their body-worn cameras. Despite being warned that it is an offence to insult a police officer, he continued abusing them.

At about 2am, he was taken to Tanglin Division Headquarters, where he was uncooperative as an officer removed his personal belongings for safekeeping.

He unleashed another tirade of vulgarities for 20 minutes at the officer. This was also captured on a body-worn camera.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Claire Poh asked for a total fine of $10,800, as his verbal abuse of the officers was sustained, lasting 20 minutes each time.

The accused's lawyer, Mr Sunil Sudheesan, pleaded for a lower fine as the incident was out of character for his client, who had been stressed by the birth of his premature baby.

"My client is very sorry and apologises to all the officers involved and the shop owner. He appreciates that police officers do not deserve his disgraceful behaviour," he added.

During sentencing, District Judge Adam Nakhoda said that while Walsh-Kavanagh was in a stressful situation, it did not justify his conduct.

He added: "I emphasise they (police officers) should never be abused. I say again it was absolutely deplorable, unrelenting, occurred for sustained period of time. Whatever level of intoxication is in no way mitigating."

For drunkenness in a public place, Walsh-Kavanagh could have been fined up to $1,000, or jailed up to six months, or both.

For using abusive words on a public servant, he was given the maximum fine of $5,000 for each proceeded charge.

He could also have been jailed for up to a year, or both.

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