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The Straits Times
1 March 2017
A youth who attacked blogger Amos Yee at a Jurong West mall in May last year was ordered to undergo nine months of probation on Wednesday (March 1).
Bryon Loke Thong Ler, 19, who had confronted the 17-year-old for taking a video of him at Jurong Point, was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service. Loke's parents, who were in court, were placed under $5,000 bond to ensure his compliance.
The attack happened after Amos assumed that Loke, a full-time national serviceman, had taken his photo.
Loke then chased after Amos and armlocked him by grabbing his hands and blocking his path with his body.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to using criminal force on Amos between noon and 12.50pm on May 29 last year. The court had called for a probation report.
On Wednesday, the court heard that the report showed that Loke would be suitable for probation.
In mitigation, Loke's lawyer Chitra Balakrishnan said that her client came from a humble background and had "lived life in relative anonymity until now".
She added that he has done well in his studies and is highly esteemed by his cadet mates and reporting officers.
The prosecution did not object to probation.
In May last year, Loke and his girlfriend were at a Value Dollar shop that day when he sensed that Amos was looking at him. He decided to take a photo of Amos to prove that the teen was "stalking" him.
When Amos asked Loke if he was taking his photo, Loke claimed he was not. Loke then observed Amos pointing his camera phone at him.
Before he could ask Amos to delete the video, Amos left the shop. Loke stopped him and held the teen's hands while Amos tried to break free, shouting "Help me! Help me!" repeatedly.
Shortly after, Amos broke free from Loke's grip and ran into a FairPrice outlet. Loke then called the police, saying Amos had taken a video of him.
After Loke had paid for his item at the Value Dollar shop, he realised that Amos had left the supermarket. He chased after Amos, grabbed his hands and hugged the victim tightly from the back.
When Loke stopped armlocking Amos, he grabbed the teen's hands and refused to let go. He also used his body to block Amos from moving away. The victim again shouted "Help me! Help me!" repeatedly.
Some members of the public told Loke to stop but he did so only after receiving a phone call from Staff Sergeant Low Yong Chin.
Amos is currently seeking political asylum in the United States.
For using criminal force against a person, Loke could have been sentenced to three months' jail and a $1,500 fine.