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Singapore—A food stall assistant who not only slapped the arm of a safe distancing ambassador but ran over his foot with her e-bike was sentenced on Thursday (Apr 22) to one week in jail.

She had breached Covid-19 restrictions, and the safety ambassador was trying to prevent her from leaving the premises when she lost her temper against him.

Forty-three-year-old Pham Thi Mai Thao, a Singaporean, entered a guilty plea to one count of committing a rash act, The Straits Times reported.

Another charge, one count of using criminal force, was also considered for the food stall assistant’s sentencing.

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The incident occurred at Geylang Serai Market in August last year when Singapore was still in Phase 2 of its reopening.

The market was barricaded to control the number of people allowed to enter the market.

The safety ambassador spotted Thao in conversation with a stall owner, who was on the other side of the barricade. Thao was warned not to make any transactions, as this would be a breach of safety measures.

Thao then claimed they were just talking.

However, she passed some money to the stall owner later on.

The safety ambassador then positioned himself in front of her to prevent her from leaving. She took her e-bike and ran over his foot. When he attempted to get out of her way, she ran over his foot again, hitting him on the right shin.

The safety ambassador then held on to her bike.

In a fit of temper, she hit his arm.

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At that point, the police were called in by the assistant director of the National Environment Agency, who was patrolling the area and saw what happened.

Ms Jane Lim, the Deputy Public Prosecutor on the case, asked that Thao be jailed for one week, on the grounds that a deterrent sentence was necessary. 

District Judge Marvin Bay accepted Ms Lim’s recommendation and said, “While the injuries were not significant, it is utterly unacceptable for acts of violence to be visited on safe distancing ambassadors, who are simply doing their job in protecting the public.”


Read also: ‘Shame on you,’ says Ho Ching to those who threw masks at safety ambassadors

‘Shame on you,’ says Ho Ching to those who threw masks at safety ambassadors

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