Banking director fined $4,000 for hitting cabby

A BRITISH banking director who punched a cabby in the face on the East Coast Parkway two years ago was fined $4,000 last Friday.

Mason Robert Alford was also ordered to pay $1,000 to the 58-year-old victim, Mr Tan Chin Huat.

The cabby had picked up Alford, 41, at Lau Pa Sat hawker centre at about 1am on Dec 14, 2011.

While driving along the ECP near the Tanjong Katong exit, Alford, who was reeking of alcohol, suddenly began to shout - kicking and shaking the driver's seat. The victim told him to cool down, which he did, but only for a while.

Shouting again, Alford pressed down hard on the victim's left shoulder. He threw a few punches in the cabby's direction, with one landing on the left side of Mr Tan's face.

Because of his passenger's violent behaviour, Mr Tan decided to drive to the nearest police station.

But along the way, he was forced to get out of the vehicle at the junction of Marine Parade Road and Still Road for a while as Alford continued to hit him.

The victim then drove to the police station before getting medical treatment for his injuries, which included a loose tooth.

While the prosecution asked for a custodial sentence, District Judge Soh Tze Bian felt that a high fine would be sufficient in view of Alford's psychiatric condition.

He suffers from a depressive disorder.

Alford, who said he has since stopped drinking, could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt.