Eye doctor pleads guilty to throwing unopened wine bottle at Grab car
A veteran eye specialist yesterday pleaded guilty in a road rage case after he pursued a Grab driver and threw an unopened bottle of wine at his car.
Lennard Harold Thean See Yin pleaded guilty to one charge of committing a rash act that endangered the personal safety of the victim. Another charge of using threatening behaviour will be taken into consideration for sentencing.
According to the National University Hospital's website, Thean, 55, is the head of ophthalmology at JurongHealth Campus and a senior consultant at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Medical Centre.
Thean's psychiatrist, Dr Stephen Phang, testified that Thean had developed a major depressive disorder that could have stemmed from a childhood kidnapping trauma.
Last year, the victim, Mr Martin Lu Junwei, 36, picked up two passengers who wanted to go to Queen Astrid Park.
At a roundabout at Coronation Road West, Mr Lu and Thean got into a near-accident. This happened when Mr Lu stopped his car near the roundabout entrance, causing Thean to brake suddenly to avoid a collision.
Thean then pursued Mr Lu and repeatedly sounded his horn at him for at least 20 seconds, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Kumaresan Gohulabalan.
After Mr Lu dropped his passengers off, Thean pulled up next to Mr Lu's vehicle and wound down his window, shouting and gesturing aggressively.
Thean then followed closely behind Mr Lu and prevented him from making a three-point turn. He also threw an unopened bottle of wine at the rear of the victim's car, and continued to pursue him for another minute before Mr Lu managed to escape.
Mr Lu's left tail light had a crack with a dent and scratches above it. Thean has paid $2,140 as compensation.
Dr Phang testified in court yesterday that Thean had family issues and suicidal thoughts, and his depressive symptoms became more prominent in the two years before the incident.
Thean told Dr Phang he still vividly remembers how, as a young child, he was kidnapped from kindergarten. The kidnappers let Thean go after a car accident.
The court heard that Thean is currently being treated and is not a danger to his patients.
The incident was reported in The Straits Times on Aug 20, 1969.
Yesterday, District Judge Marvin Bay noted Thean's mental condition and the fact that the victim and his passengers were not physically hurt.
A mandatory treatment order suitability report has been called for and the case has been adjourned to March 18 for sentencing.