Court throws out condo parking case

A CONDOMINIUM resident who complained that a neighbour had kicked him in the shins repeatedly must have been as “meek as a lamb”, a judge said, as he never made a sound during his ordeal.

District Judge Lim Keng Yeow ended a long- running dispute over parking spaces, by throwing out a case brought by Mr Jew John Gomez, 51.

He acquitted and discharged 49-year-old Goh Siew Khoon, who was accused of shoving and kicking Mr Gomez in the basement carpark of The Esparis condo in Pasir Ris in March last year.

The district judge found the complainant’s evidence “peculiar”. In written judgment grounds, the judge said Mr Gomez’s version of events in court differed from what he had told police, such as which leg he was kicked in and when.

The judge also said that such “relatively minor disputes” have other means of recourse, pointing out that “seeking criminal conviction as a means of resolving minor disputes is rarely necessary”.

No further action was taken after Mr Gomez made a police report on the night in question, but the engineer with Hewlett-Packard decided to hire a lawyer to prosecute on his own a year later.

During a four-day trial in August and September, Mr Goh, a regional manager with an American firm, was represented by lawyer Chia Boon Teck, who said his client was framed by Mr Gomez after he had unintentionally occupied the latter’s favourite parking spot. Mr Goh, who has a Land Rover, a trailer and five motorbikes, moved into The Esparis in late 2012.

The lawyer accused Mr Gomez of a “harassment campaign” that saw him instruct condo security officers to repeatedly paste warnings on Mr Goh’s car for not displaying his carpark transponder.

Mr Chia also said a Land Transport Authority officer showed up at his client’s door, “much to his embarrassment”, after Mr Gomez apparently complained that two of Mr Goh’s motorbikes were stolen as they had no licence plates.

The lawyer added that it would not have been physically possible for Mr Goh to “kick both his (Mr Gomez’s) shins three to four times while following him from behind”.

The judge agreed and expressed his surprise at Mr Gomez’s account.

“One would have expected him to shout at Mr Goh, protest at his actions or warn against continuing his kicking, or call for help from the security guards,” the judge wrote.

“Yet Mr Gomez’s version suggested that there was absolute silence between them as he received the repeated kicks and bore the resulting pain, apparently meek as a lamb.”

Mr Chia failed in an application to the courts to seek costs and compensation from Mr Gomez.


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