NUS FT LAW PROF UNREMORSEFUL DESPITE GETTING JAIL FOR ASSAULT

NUS assistant law professor Sundram Peter Soosay, who was convicted by the court earlier for assaulting a 70-year-old cabby Mr Sun Chun Hua, has been sentenced to 4 months imprisonment and ordered to compensate the victim $1500.

During sentencing, District Judge Victor Yeo noted that Soosay had ample time since judgment to make compensations to the victim, but nothing has been offered and thus he “has shown no sign of remorse”.

Soosay has indicated that he intends to appeal against his sentence.

What happened

It all began when Soosay vomited in Mr Sun’s taxi in the wee hours of Christmas Day in 2013. After he got out from the cab near King Albert Park, Soosay walked away without paying. Mr Sun ran after him. He then gave Mr Sun a $50 note.

As Soosay followed Mr Sun back to the cab to get change, he attacked Mr Sun from behind, punching him multiple times in the face and body. Mr Sun was left bloodied and in need of multiple stitches.

Mr Sun earlier told the court that he had got his taxi licence in 1983 and this had never happened to him before.

The trial on 29th May

During the trial, Soosay had claimed that he was attacked by the cabby first and had reacted in self-defence, but this was dismissed by Judge Victor Yeo.

I found it to be riddled with hindsight reasoning, convenient conjecture and hypothesis.

The judge said Soosay’s testimony was inconsistent with his first statement to the police.

Despite the accused’s intoxicated state, he seemed able to recall with great clarity how Mr Sun had behaved aggressively towards him.

The court found that Soosay had not made any mention of those details in his first statement to the police. Instead, he told police he was so drunk that he could not remember what had actually happened.

However, Soosay argued that the Investigating Officer (IO) had summarized and compressed his statements to the police.

The judge called Soosay’s allegation that the IO had “compressed” his first statement “serious and most startling”. The IO had been fully aware that Soosay was a law professor and would not have attempted to summarise his statement, the judge said.

Addressing the defence’s suggestion that the cabby had first attacked Soosay, the judge noted that it would be foolish for Mr Sun to do so especially after he had received the $50 note for the taxi fare from Soosay.

The judge then adjourned sentencing to 26th June.

Who is Sundram Peter Soosay?

Soosay joined NUS in 2008 and is a Singapore permanent resident who was originally from Malaysia and later moved to Scotland.

He graduated from Strathclyde University in Glasgow with a LLB, before going on to spend an extended period at Edinburgh University, where he obtained his LLM and PhD.

Interestingly, a check by TR Emeritus shows that neither university attended by Soosay falls within the list of approved foreign universities [Link] recognised by the Ministry of Law for admission to the Singapore Bar (i.e. to practise as lawyers in Singapore). But in the case of Soosay, he is teaching students to be lawyers.

The ranking of his undergraduate university, Strathclyde University, incidentally falls somewhere between NUS/NTU and Mumbai University [Link]:

NUS – 22nd
NTU – 39th
Strathclyde University – 246th
Mumbai University – 551st
Suspended but not dismissed

During an earlier court hearing of Soosay case, an NUS spokesman told the media, “NUS will await the conclusion of legal proceedings before determining what action, if any, should be taken.”

Now that Soosay has been convicted and sentenced, it remains to be seen what action, if any, will be taken by NUS against him.

What do you think NUS will do? “Let’s move on”?

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