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Question 1Edit

Issues

Issue: Identification of attackerEdit

Issue: Is a tennis racquet a dangerous weapon?Edit

Issue: Was the injury sustained by Vincent hurt or grievous hurt?Edit

Issue: Did William arrest Andy? Edit

Arrest how made.
24.—(1) In making an arrest the police officer or other person making the arrest shall actually touch or confine the body of the person to be arrested unless there is a submission to the custody by word or action.
If such person forcibly resists the endeavour to arrest him or attempts to evade the arrest, such officer or other person may use all means necessary to effect the arrest.

Here, as in Zainal bin Kuning v Michael Chan [1996] 3 SLR 121, there was submission to the custody by word or action.

Therefore, there was an arrest by William.

Issue: Can William effect a private arrest?Edit

Arrest by private persons. Procedure in such cases.
34.—(1) Any private person may arrest any person who, in his view, commits a non-bailable and seizable offence, or who has been proclaimed under section 51, and shall, without unnecessary delay, hand over the person so arrested to the nearest police officer or, in the absence of a police officer, take that person to the nearest police station.
(2) If there is reason to believe that such person comes under section 32 a police officer shall rearrest him.
(3) If there is reason to believe that he has committed a non-seizable offence and he refuses on the demand of a police officer to give his name and residence or gives a name or residence which the officer has reason to believe to be false or gives a residence which is not within Singapore he shall be dealt with under section 33.
(4) If there is no reason to believe that he has committed any offence he shall be at once released.
(5) Any person who commits an offence on or with respect to the person or property of another may, if his name and residence are unknown, be apprehended by the person injured or by any person who is using the property to which the injury is done, or by the employee of either of those persons or by any person authorised by or acting in aid of either of those persons, and may be detained until he gives his name and address and satisfies such person that the name and address so given are correct or until he can be delivered into the custody of a police officer.
(6) If any person lawfully apprehended under subsection (5) assaults or forcibly resists the person by whom he is so apprehended or any person acting in his aid, he shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $100.

The offence must be non-bailable and seizable.

According to Schedule A, CPC, the offence alleged (s. 324 PC) is a seizable but bailable offence. The same is true for a s 323 PC offence. Therefore, William cannot effect a private arrest.

What is the meaning of "in his view"? Three interpretations:

  1. actually witnessing the commission of the offence
  2. forms a reasonable opinion that the offence was committed by the suspect: Sam Hong Choy v PP [1999] 4 MLJ 433
  3. close proximity: Chee Siok Chin v Minister of Home Affairs [2006] 1 SLR 582

The facts of this case are similar to that in Sam Hong Choy, which said that even if the private person effecting the arrest did not actually witness the commission of the offence, it was possible to satisfy the "in his view" element in s. 32(1) CPC. Possible distinction of the Chee Siok Chin interpretation is that in that case, it was not s 32 which was being interpreted.

Assuming that William could effect a private arrest, was there a re-arrest by the police sergeant? See s. 32(2) CPC.

Issue: Can the police sergeant exercise powers under s 121 CPC?Edit

Examination of witnesses by police.
121.—(1) A police officer making a police investigation under this Chapter may examine orally any person supposed to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case and shall reduce into writing any statement made by the person so examined.
(2) Such person shall be bound to state truly the facts and circumstances with which he is acquainted concerning the case except only that he may decline to make with regard to any fact or circumstance a statement which would have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or to a penalty or forfeiture.
(3) A statement made by any person under this section shall be read over to him and shall, after correction if necessary, be signed by him.

This is a special power of investigation in seizable offences. See s 118, CPC, the empowering section.

This case is a seizable offence. Therefore, the police sergeant, as a police officer defined in s 2, can exercise powers under s 121.


Issue: Can the police send emails to ask questions? Is this proper statement-taking procedure?Edit

There is standard procedure for taking statements, and this is not one of them. See s 115.

Issue: Is the email admissible in court?Edit

William's statement is not a s. 121 statement.

Statements made after the FIR are generally inadmissible, unless provided for by s 122.

Admissibility of statements to police.
122.—(1) Except as provided in this section, no statement made by any person to a police officer in the course of a police investigation made under this Chapter shall be used in evidence other than a statement that is a written statement admissible under section 141.
(2) When any witness is called for the prosecution or for the defence, other than the accused, the court shall, on the request of the accused or the prosecutor, refer to any statement made by that witness to a police officer in the course of a police investigation under this Chapter and may then, if the court thinks it expedient in the interests of justice, direct the accused to be furnished with a copy of it; and the statement may be used to impeach the credit of the witness in the manner provided by the Evidence Act.

Cap. 97.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to apply to any statement made in the course of an identification parade or falling within section 27 or 32 (a) of the Evidence Act.
(4) When any person is charged with any offence in relation to the making or contents of any statement made by him to a police officer in the course of a police investigation made under this Chapter, that statement may be used as evidence in the prosecution.
(5) Where any person is charged with an offence any statement, whether it amounts to a confession or not or is oral or in writing, made at any time, whether before or after that person is charged and whether in the course of a police investigation or not, by that person to or in the hearing of any police officer of or above the rank of sergeant shall be admissible at his trial in evidence and, if that person tenders himself as a witness, any such statement may be used in cross-examination and for the purpose of impeaching his credit:

Provided that the court shall refuse to admit such statement or allow it to be used as aforesaid if the making of the statement appears to the court to have been caused by any inducement, threat or promise having reference to the charge against such person, proceeding from a person in authority and sufficient, in the opinion of the court, to give such person grounds which would appear to him reasonable for supposing that by making it he would gain any advantage or avoid any evil of a temporal nature in reference to the proceedings against him.

(6) Where any person is charged with an offence or officially informed that he may be prosecuted for it, he shall be served with a notice in writing, which shall be explained to him, to the following effect:

“You have been charged with/informed that you may be prosecuted for — (set out the charge). Do you wish to say anything in answer to the charge? If there is any fact on which you intend to rely in your defence in court, you are advised to mention it now. If you hold it back till you go to court, your evidence may be less likely to be believed and this may have a bad effect on your case in general. If you wish to mention any fact now, and you would like it written down, this will be done.”.

(7) No statement made by an accused person in answer to a written notice served on him pursuant to subsection (6) shall be construed as a statement caused by any inducement, threat or promise as is described in the proviso to subsection (5), if it is otherwise voluntary.
(8) In subsection (6), “officially informed” means informed by a police officer or any other person charged with the duty of investigating offences or charging offenders.

The statement can be admitted pursuant to s. 122(2) when the credibility of the witness is impeached. When doing so, reference should be made to ss 157 and 147 of the Evidence Act.

See also ss 378 and 379 CPC.

Issue: Should there have been an identification parade?Edit

Whether an identification parade is needed depends on the circumstances of the case. That there was no ID parade does not mean that prosecution's case will fail in its entirety.

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