A defence executive officer who kicked a taxi driver in the chest was jailed for four weeks yesterday for voluntarily causing hurt.
Chia Liang Hoe, 63, was found guilty after a nine-day trial in November of attacking Lok Heng Leong, 45, at Block 158A, Rivervale Crescent, in Sengkang on Nov 3, 2012.
Mr Lok had testified that he was driving along the two-lane Rivervale Drive, en route to picking up a passenger, when he sounded the horn at Chia, who had encroached into his lane.
He drove on and made a right turn at the junction ahead, towards Block 158A, to pick up his passenger.
While waiting at the block in his taxi, Chia's car pulled alongside. Chia, whose wife and son were in the vehicle, got out and shouted at Mr Lok.
Chia claimed that the victim had pointed a middle finger at him, but this was denied. He then told Mr Lok to wind down the taxi's window. He was joined by his wife and son, who had also gotten out of the car.
Mr Lok, who felt anxious and frightened, took out his mobile phone to take pictures and record the incident. A heated exchange ensued.
Chia then walked to the front-left passenger door of the taxi, opened the door and tried to kick the cabby, but missed. He then grabbed onto the outer frame of the taxi with both hands and delivered a kick. It landed on the victim's left chest area.
An off-duty police officer heard the commotion and came down to intervene. Another eyewitness testified that he saw a car and taxi at the scene, and that the "car driver came down to fight".
In convicting Chia earlier, District Judge Brenda Tan said she accepted Mr Lok's testimony and found that his evidence was substantiated materially by the testimony of independent eyewitness Olsen Ho.
Although Mr Ho might not have seen the kick, it was enough that he saw Chia extending a kick towards Mr Lok, she said.
Yesterday, the judge noted that Chia had opened the front passenger door not to talk to the victim, but "invaded the sanctuary" of the victim to attack him.
"These are aggressive acts which are disproportionate to any perceived provocation, and clearly warrant a sentence beyond a fine," she said.
Chia could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for the offence.
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