Jail for drunk man who assaulted cabby

Jail for drunk man who assaulted cabby

A drunk man assaulted a cabby who had picked up other passengers, boarded the taxi anyway and punched him as he drove.

Shane Chia Chih Wei, then 21, had hit Mr Yeo Tze Phern's cab bumper to stop him from driving off before he climbed into the rear passenger seat, which was already occupied by two women.

He attacked Mr Yeo, 52, from behind, leaving him with injuries, including a bruise on his cheek. The cabby needed six days of medical leave as a result.

Yesterday, Chia, who was a full-time national serviceman at the time of the assault, was sentenced to one month in jail for voluntarily hurting on Feb 10 last year.

But his overall prison term comes up to a year, after the court ordered the one-month sentence to run concurrently with a separate 12-month term for grievously hurting a woman with a glass cup after a dispute at a party.

The court heard that Chia, now 23, attacked Mr Yeo at around 2.50 am the day of the incident, after the cabby had picked up two women outside Peace Centre along Sophia Road.

The two women and Chia's friend, who also got into the cab and took the front seat, tried to calm Chia down as he shouted at Mr Yeo for not stopping promptly when hailed.

They tried to restrain him from hitting the cabby, and Chia's friend pulled him out of the taxi.

On Oct 15 that same year, a drunken Chia assaulted his second victim, Ms Cherie Lim, 21, after a shouting match at Playhouse club in Clarke Quay mall.

The two, who were friends, had been there to celebrate a mutual friend's birthday.

Ms Lim was left with injuries, including deep lacerations on her eye and face, and needed surgery.

Passing sentence, Community Court Judge Mathew Joseph said this was a "grim reminder" of what can happen at parties where alcohol is served and things get out of control.

He added that taxi drivers perform a public service and should be given the full protection of the law.

Chia's lawyer, Mr Jimmy Yap, said his client was remorseful and has paid Ms Lim $45,000 in compensation.

He has also paid Mr Yeo $762.70 for his injuries, and $973 for damage caused to his vehicle.

Chia could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000 for hurting the cabby.

For grievously hurting Ms Lim, he could have been jailed for up to 10 years, and fined or caned.

pohian@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Nov 7, 2014.
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