After a night of drinking, Dino Petrus Johannes van Deijzen's girlfriend vomited in the cab that was taking them home.
But instead of paying the fare, the Dutchman, a design executive, attacked the taxi driver when the latter threatened to call the police.
The 34-year-old's violent acts were captured by the taxi's in-vehicle closed-circuit television camera, and yesterday he was jailed for three weeks after admitting to hurting Mr Ee Kah Ling, 42.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Chin Jincheng had asked for a sentence of around three months, pointing out certain aggravating factors. He said van Deijzen was intoxicated, and such people should take responsibility for their actions. "It was a sustained and brutish assault... multiple hits. The accused was clearly the aggressor, and he had no justification whatsoever for returning to the taxi and slamming the door on the driver."
The incident occurred in the early hours of Oct 21 last year. Van Deijzen and his girlfriend were highly drunk when they boarded the taxi, and they slept on the way to Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5.
When the cabby arrived at the open-air carpark at Block 538, the girlfriend vomited in the back of the taxi. The cabby asked van Deijzen to settle the fare and resolve the issue of the vomit. But the couple ignored him and walked away without paying.
Mr Ee then said he would call the police. When he went to his taxi to retrieve his cellphone, van Deijzen slammed the car door on him and punched him. Mr Ee tried to run away, but the 1.8m-tall, lanky Dutchman chased him and pushed him to the ground. He then punched and kicked him.
A member of the public called the police.
The victim was sent to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital with slight redness on his chest and multiple abrasions. He was given five days of medical leave.
Van Deijzen's lawyer Ang Gek Peng asked for a fine. He argued that his client was not a violent person and the violence was out of his character. "He has stopped drinking since the day of the incident."
District Judge Imran Abdul Hamid said: "I suppose that is the best outcome for him."
The maximum penalty for voluntarily causing hurt is two years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
This article was first published on June 20, 2015.
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