Woman keeps interrupting judge during sentencing until he raises his voice: 'Keep quiet and let me finish'

Samuel Devaraj
The Straits Times
Aug 25, 2023

A woman who attacked a Central Manpower Base (CMPB) enlistment inspector who went to her home after her son failed to report for national service (NS) was jailed for 18 weeks on Friday.

K. Santhi A. Krishnasamy, 58, had earlier been convicted after a trial over a charge of voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant, and another of using criminal force on a public servant.

On Friday, she repeatedly interrupted District Judge Christopher Goh as he was delivering the reasons for the sentence, causing him to raise his voice on several occasions.

The judge began by saying he agreed with the prosecution that where offences are committed against public servants, general deterrence is the overriding consideration. He also highlighted Santhi’s persistent aggressive behaviour, which was evident from body-worn camera footage.

It showed that the victim was grabbed or pulled several times over the course of the incident, and that Santhi continued her offending actions despite the numerous warnings to stop.

While the judge was explaining this, Santhi, who had already interjected a few times before, interrupted him saying, “All of it is not true”.

“Keep quiet and let me finish,” Judge Goh replied.

The judge also highlighted Santhi’s lack of remorse.

He said she never once sought to explain her actions that day or apologise to the enlistment inspectors, and instead continued to assert that her son was not fit for NS and that she had not caused hurt to the inspectors.

Judge Goh then asked Deputy Public Prosecutor Colin Ng about the five other charges that were taken into consideration during her sentencing. These included charges for entering Bukit Gombak Camp without a permit on three occasions in 2021. When Santhi interrupted them again, Judge Goh raised his voice saying, “Can you please wait? Speak when you are spoken to, ma’am.”

The judge later granted Santhi a deferment on her sentence to consider if she wanted to appeal against her sentence. He called her husband forward from the gallery, to explain to him what this meant, as he is her bailor.

Referring to Santhi’s sentence, her husband said “it is nonsense” before Judge Goh stopped him from continuing.

According to the State Courts’ records, Santhi has appealed against her sentence.

DPP Ng said previously that Santhi’s son, Mr Kavinsarang Shin, had failed to turn up for enlistment at the Basic Military Training Centre in Pulau Tekong on the morning of April 23, 2021.

That day, at about 5pm, three CMPB enlistment inspectors arrived at Santhi’s flat to serve an order for her son to report to CMPB to assist in investigations.

One of the inspectors, Mr Ang Wei Cong, read the order to Mr Shin, but Santhi insisted her son was not familiar with the facts of the case and refused to accept the order. She then wrote a note on the order calling it a “falsehood”, and insisted on returning it to Mr Ang.

The inspectors did not take the order, and walked towards the lift lobby. Inspector Adeline Joyce Neubronner testified that Santhi grabbed her right wrist, prompting her to cry out in pain.

Mr Ang and the third inspector, Mr Vincent Lee Sian Fung, tried to get Santhi to let go of their colleague, but she continued pulling Ms Neubronner’s hand. Santhi also grabbed Mr Ang’s body-worn camera, flung it to the floor and kicked it away. Mr Ang then performed an armlock to prevent her from causing further harm.

Her husband arrived at the lift lobby, and Mr Ang told him to control his wife, while Mr Lee called the police. Ms Neubronner suffered superficial abrasions on both arms, and a right shoulder sprain.

During the trial, Ms Neubronner said she was traumatised by the incident.

“I felt that we were just doing our job, and we understand as public front-liners, unexpected things would happen, but not to this extent.”

The DPP said that determining pre-enlistees’ fitness for enlistment is not within the purview of the inspectors, and they had verified with CMPB that Mr Shin was fit for enlistment before heading down.

The prosecutor said this incident could have been resolved amicably without violence, but Santhi took matters into her own hands.

Santhi, who did not have a lawyer, had claimed in her mitigation that her son had been enlisted without a review by a cardiologist after his electrocardiogram showed abnormalities.

She claimed she still had not received information that she requested from the Ministry of Defence about her son’s enlistment. He has since completed his NS.

She said: “I asked for (an) explanation in a very respectful manner. I spent the last two years worrying every day about whether my son would lose his life during NS.

She said: “The prosecution has said that I have no remorse. As a mother seeking to keep her son safe, it is true, I have no remorse. In fact, I feel that it was my responsibility to do everything in my power.”

The Straits Times

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