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Serious Chief Justice Menon Fucks Lower Tier Judge Soh For Unsatisfactory Judgement Against Good Whiteman! Anyhow Jail Him For 16 Weeks Instead Of 12 Weeks!


Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset

SINGAPORE: The Chief Justice on Wednesday (Sep 20) granted the appeal of a man who was sentenced to 16 weeks' jail for cheating the Health Promotion Board into believing he was vaccinated, cutting the imprisonment term to 12 weeks.

At the same time, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon chided the lower court judge for his "unsatisfactory" judicial practice by lifting large chunks of the prosecution's submissions for his grounds of decision.

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said the lower court judge, District Judge Soh Tze Bian, had apparently intended to pronounce the sentence he was going to impose without hearing oral submissions, which is the usual practice.

Australian national David Christopher Newton, 44, has already served the 16-week jail term meted out by the lower court and left Singapore, but appealed anyway because he felt he did not get "a fair hearing".

He had pleaded guilty to one charge of being party to a criminal conspiracy with Dr Jipson Quah and Quah's assistant Thomas Chua Cheng Soon to cheat the Health Promotion Board (HPB) that he had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, when he was not.

Instead, he had received saline injections at Mayfair Medical Clinic in Yishun for himself and his unsuspecting wife for a fee of S$6,000.

Quah had administered the injections, while his assistant Chua was the one who made the arrangements after Newton joined the anti-vaccine group, Healing the Divide, on Telegram in end-2021 and obtained Chua's number.

Newton's lawyer, Mr Paul Loy from WongPartnership, appealed against the sentence on two grounds - that it was manifestly excessive, and that the district judge was biased.

To support his claim, Mr Loy pointed to how Judge Soh had already prepared his grounds of decision before either side had made oral submissions on Apr 27 this year.

On top of this, the bulk of the judge's grounds of decision was reproduced from the prosecution's submissions, including copying the cross-references in the prosecution's written submissions.

Chief Justice Menon said that while the court regards Judge Soh's conduct "as wholly unsatisfactory from the perspective of considering what would amount to acceptable judicial practice", it was not enough to cross the threshold for it to be regarded as "apparent bias".

Nonetheless, the Chief Justice stressed that it was "unsatisfactory" that Judge Soh had reproduced the prosecution's written submissions in his grounds of decision.

"Where a court reproduces substantial portions of the submissions of one side, it opens itself to the charge that it has failed to apply a judicious mind and has simply, and without sufficient consideration and discernment, adopted the submissions of one part," he said.

This in turn opens the court to a complaint of actual or apparent bias, said the Chief Justice.

"Importantly, public confidence in the fairness of the judicial process will be significantly undermined if there are doubts as to the impartiality and rigour with which a case is appraised," he added.

He said this was exacerbated by how Judge Soh went to the sentencing hearing "apparently intending to pronounce the sentence he intended to impose without hearing oral submissions".

The normal practice is that oral submissions will "commonly be made" and Mr Loy came prepared for that, said Chief Justice Menon.

"In these circumstances, I consider that the (district judge's) conduct of the matter, as a whole, was unsatisfactory," he said.

Despite this, the Chief Justice re-assessed Newton's case and found that a jail term of 12 weeks was more appropriate. He found that the case used to base the previous jail term on was not appropriate and assessed Newton's case afresh.

"In closing, I wish to make it clear that while the district judge had fallen short of the standards of professionalism expected of our judicial officers, I do not regard this as reflective of the general attitude of our judicial officers who uniformly and consistently uphold the highest standards in their daily work of discharging the grave responsibility that is entrusted to them," he said.

"Their efforts should not be tarnished by this incident."

He added that he expects that the guidance he has provided will serve "as a reminder of the need for all of us who take the judicial oath of office, to be mindful of the importance, not only of always ensuring that justice is done, but also that it is manifestly seen to be done".



Soh can now join Carson Law Chambers, the most prestigious law firm in Singapore.

The Honorable CJ had never been a DJ before. Soh didn't have justice's clerk to help him, unlike judges at the High Court.

Talk is cheap lah, Menon.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Think many judges copy and paste from either the prosecution's or defence's submissions because the judge does not have time, does not have clerical support, and because the arguments from the prosecutor/defence are strong.

It was unlucky for Soh that the defendant and his lawyer chose to appeal.

Like they say: you can get away with anything as long as you don't get caught.


Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Ang mo got second chance. Huat !

The good white man served the full 16 weeks sentence already. You expect that disgraced judge soh or the prison services to refund 4 weeks back to the good white man?


nothing going to happen to soh; rast time Pang Kang Chau then as a JC also got reprimanded deep deep over his judgement by CJ

This CJ is quite soft. Very staunch Catholic. If it's Yong Pung Sai, he would have been transferred out to AGC or Legal Aid Bureau before month end.