I feared for my life, says elderly priest bashed by road bully | The New Paper

I feared for my life, says elderly priest bashed by road bully

This article is more than 12 months old

Priest recalls getting hit by 
road bully 47 years younger than him

He showed consideration for others but was rewarded with a bashing by a road bully three times younger than him.

Even when he ended up in hospital last year after being punched and kicked by a 23-year-old man, Catholic priest Adrian Anthony, 72, said there was nothing to forgive.

When The New Paper visited him yesterday evening, he said: "I wasn't angry or revengeful.

"But I definitely feared for my life. I didn't know what else he was going to do to me."

Speaking from his bed at St Luke's Hospital, where he is recovering from pneumonia after an 11-week stay at Mount Alvernia Hospital, Father Adrian added: "I was shocked that someone so young could attack an elderly man like me."

Dick Lim Poh Guan, now 25, a provision shop owner at Bras Basah Complex, was jailed for seven weeks yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to Father Adrian on Feb 20 last year.

One count each of theft and mischief were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The road-rage attack occurred after Father Adrian left his parish at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd at Queen Street at around 10.30pm to drive to a nearby McDonald's to "grab a hamburger for dinner".

The court heard that while he was about to turn right from Victoria Street into Middle Road, he stopped to allow pedestrians to cross at the junction despite the lights being in his favour.


Lim, who was with his wife, Madam Ao Lin, 20, became impatient and honked at Father Anthony, startling him.

After the priest drove off, Lim tailed him.

When Father Adrian parked his car at Cashin Street, off North Bridge Road, Lim stepped out of his van and knocked on the windscreen.

Father Adrian said: "He challenged me to a fight. He said if I were a man, I'd take him up on it. Why would he want that?

"I was 70, you know? I can barely move around and he wanted me to fight with him?"

When Father Adrian stepped out of the car, he wanted to take a picture of the number plate of Lim's van, but Lim snatched the phone.

"He took my phone, gave me one hard hit to my nose and then kicked me when I was on the ground," said Father Adrian.

"I couldn't believe it. After that, they (Lim and his wife) were hurling vulgarities but I didn't know what was going on any more.

"I saw stars and I was in a daze."

Father Adrian lay helpless on the ground for several minutes before a woman went to his aid.

"I don't even know who helped me, but I know I was down for a while before someone brought a cup of water from McDonald's for me," he said.

"About 20 minutes later, the ambulance came."

He did not tell many people about the incident although it bothered him that a young man was capable of such violence.

"Until now, I don't understand why or how someone can do that."

I was shocked that someone so young could attack an elderly man like me.

- Father Adrian Anthony, on the 
23-year-old man who beat him up

Road bully jailed seven weeks

Father Adrian Anthony had no idea what was going on when road bully Dick Lim Poh Guan confronted him, the court was told yesterday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Clement Yong said: "In a state of fear, the victim stepped out of his car with the intention of taking a photo of the accused's vehicle number."

But Lim snatched the mobile phone from Father Adrian Anthony. The priest pleaded with Lim to return his phone but his pleas fell on deaf ears.

Lim's wife, Madam Ao Lim, then asked him: "Why did you stop at the traffic junction?"

It was only at this point that Father Adrian realised the confrontation stemmed from an earlier honking incident.

He tried to snatch his mobile phone but Lim, a father of two, resisted. He punched the priest once on the nose and kicked him when he fell to the ground.


DPP Yong told District Judge Janet Wang: "The victim reported 'seeing stars' as a result of the punch and he started bleeding from his nose and tried to get up but was unsuccessful.

"Upon seeing this, the accused threw the victim's phone on the ground, causing damage to it."

Father Adrian called the police at around 10.50pm about the incident.

He was taken to Singapore General Hospital, where he was found to have a nasal tip fracture and bruises on his back, hip and thigh. He was given seven days of medical leave.

Lim's lawyer, Mr Mervyn Tan, in pleading for leniency, said his client had given $500 to Father Adrian as compensation and apologised for what he had done.

Stressing that the courts are monolithic in their treatment of road rage cases, Judge Wang said: "Violence is clearly anathema to all road users."

While noting that Mr Tan had said in mitigation that Lim took care of his parents, she said that he had not extended the same token of goodwill and charity to other elderly persons like Father Adrian.

"You and your wife were exceedingly rude to him. I must say that your actions as well as your wife's were deplorable," said Judge Wang.

"You were simply bullying an old man on the road."

For voluntarily causing hurt, Lim could have been jailed up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

SingaporeCOURT & CRIMEroad ragebullyingassultUncategorisedCashin Street