SINGAPORE - What started as an argument with a taxi driver ended with an $8,800 fine for IT manager Saminderpaul Singh on Friday.
The 30-year-old pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour for shouting, and using criminal force on a police officer by twice tapping him on the chest.
Charges for hitting the cabby on the head and using abusive language against a police officer were taken into consideration.
On Aug 26 last year, after drinks with friends at the Tanjong Beach Club in Sentosa, Singh boarded a taxi at 11.30pm to return to his Seletar Hills home.
But there was a dispute about the route taken and the 60-year-old cabby, Mr Spencer Teng Lee Fat, drove to the Orchard Road Neighbourhood Police Centre instead.
They continued arguing and two police officers came out to see to them. While one officer was interviewing the cabby, Singh started shouting at the top of his voice.
He also tapped an officer with his hand. He was warned not to touch the officers. Yet he tapped the officer two more times on the chest. He was arrested.
For using criminal force on a public servant, he could have been jailed for up to four years or fined, or both.
Pleading for just a fine, defence lawyer Amarick Gill said Singh, who works for a marine survey firm, had acted out of character and was truly remorseful.
District Judge Toh Yung Cheong warned that violence in any form cannot be condoned, especially against police and public transport workers who were only doing their jobs.
But he also noted that the main charge involved tapping a police officer on the chest, so a large fine would be sufficient in this case.
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