Judge praises lawyer for helping teen client

150919 Carmen Chng

A district judge yesterday commended lawyer R. Thrumurgan for stepping forward to help his teenage client with a troubled past to turn around.

Community Court Judge Mathew Joseph said this was probably the first case he had seen of an accused person’s lawyer and his spouse stepping forward to be sureties to ensure the teen’s good behaviour.

He said he was glad to see that the accused – Carmen Chng Jiawen, 18 – had come to her senses, having displayed anger and restlessness several times in court. He urged her to put the “unfortunate developments” behind her, saying she has “a whole life ahead” of her.

He told her to talk and listen to her counsel and her mother and not be sidetracked by the misplaced intentions of others who had previously been close to her.

Judge Joseph granted her 18 months’ probation and warned that she would be sent back to court and re-sentenced if she misbehaves or re-offends during that time.

Mr Thrumurgan, 42, his wife Priscilla Yip, 41, head of communications – Asia Pacific of Airbus Helicopters, and Carmen’s mother were bonded for $5,000 to ensure her good behaviour.

Carmen had pleaded guilty to kicking a policewoman and the rear window of a police car.

Mr Thrumurgan told reporters that Carmen, who is now an administrative assistant at his law firm, Trident Law Corporation, came from a very challenged and difficult background. “She demonstrated a keen resolve to change and do something about her life,” he said.

Ms Yip said: “She has no ill intent towards anybody. I think she just needs guidance and somebody to show her that the world is not as bad as it seems because of all the things she has gone through.”

Meanwhile, the prosecution’s appeal against Chng’s one-week jail sentence for contempt of court and $3,500 fine for pointing a stick at his then landlady in May that year will be heard next month.

Excerpt taken from the following source:


Elena Chong, The Straits Times

Published Sep 16, 2015, 5:00 am SGT



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