SINGAPORE — Affected by alcohol and angry that he could not find out which room his partner had moved to after an argument, a tourist assaulted a security officer by pushing him to the ground, then punching and kneeing his face.
Craig Clive Hilton, 40, was sentenced to six weeks’ jail on Wednesday (Dec 20) after he pleaded guilty to voluntarily causing hurt to a security officer under the Private Security Industry Act.
The court heard that at the time of the offence, the Australian was on holiday here with his partner and son, and was staying as a guest at Louis Kienne Serviced Residences located at 554 Havelock Road.
Investigations revealed that on the evening of Nov 6 this year, Hilton had an argument with his partner who later asked the front desk for another room, a request that was granted.
At about 10.30pm that night, Hilton headed to the front desk to ask where his partner was but the staff member refused to disclose the information to him.
He then headed out to have some alcoholic drinks. A few hours later, at around 3.30am, he returned to the serviced residence.
By then, the employee at the front desk had left for the day so Hilton approached Mr Kesavan Rajendran, 25, who was deployed to the location as a private security officer.
Hilton asked Mr Kesavan where his partner was.
Mr Kesavan did not disclose the information and also told Hilton that he was just the security officer.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Daphne Lim said that Hilton then pushed Mr Kesavan to the ground and used his knee to hit the officer’s face.
When the officer managed to get up, Hilton punched his face and continued advancing towards him.
Hilton also started to sweep items off the front desk but Mr Kesavan managed to retreat and run out of the lobby.
This was all captured on closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, which was played in court.
As Mr Kesavan was being attacked, he smelt alcohol on Hilton’s breath and realised that the Australian was under the influence of alcohol, DPP Lim said.
A call was made to the police about 15 minutes later.
Mr Kesavan was later taken to Singapore General Hospital where he was found to have sustained scratches, mild redness over his left cheek and mild swelling over his left lower lip.
During mitigation, Hilton who was not represented by a lawyer, broke down in tears as he told the court that there was no justification for what he had done.
“There is no excuse for my actions; drinking alcohol like I did, like a coward.
“Seeing my actions in the footage — that is not me, that is not the person I am. I feel so guilty,” Hilton said.
He told the court that he had become drunk and angry after thinking that he lost his passport and when he saw Mr Kesavan behind the front desk, he thought the officer looked like he was guilty.
“I can’t remember in detail what happened but that’s disgusting. I will not ask for leniency for myself but just for my son and his mum as I have caused my family so much hell,” he added.
In delivering his sentence, Deputy Principal District Judge Luke Tan said that this was an assault that took place when Hilton was intoxicated, on a security officer doing his job.
The judge added that it was fortunate the harm suffered by the victim was low as Hilton’s clear aggression and persistence could be seen in the CCTV footage.
For voluntarily causing hurt to a security officer under the Private Security Industry Act, Hilton could have been jailed for up to five years or fined up to S$10,000, or both.