Cabby attacker's jail term raised to 3 months

He beat up a cabby who threatened to call the police if he did not pay the fare, failed to apologise, and instead portrayed himself as the victim.

Yesterday, Dutch design executive Dino Petrus Johannes van Deijzen saw his three-week jail term increased to three months, after the High Court was persuaded by the prosecution that the original sentence was too lenient.

Justice Tay Yong Kwang rejected suggestions by the 34-year-old that he was also a victim of assault because the taxi driver, Mr Ee Kah Ling, had thrown a retaliatory punch that caused him to lose consciousness.

These claims were "convenient excuses to downplay his use of inexcusable violence" against the 42-year-old taxi driver, said Justice Tay.

The judge added that van Deijzen's attempts to transform himself into a victim, and the conspicuous absence of any apology or compensation to the cabby did not show that he was remorseful.

In the early hours of Oct 21 last year, van Deijzen and his girlfriend were drunk when they boarded Mr Ee's taxi.

When they reached their destination in Ang Mo Kio, the girlfriend vomited inside the taxi.

Mr Ee asked van Deijzen to pay the fare and to 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 get his phone, van Deijzen slammed the car door on him and punched him. Mr Ee tried to flee, but the Dutchman chased him, pushed him to the ground and repeatedly punched and kicked him.

The violent acts were recorded on the camera in the taxi.

A passer-by called the police, and Mr Ee was taken to hospital. He suffered slight redness on his chest and multiple abrasions.

Three days later, after van Deijzen was told by police to give his statement, he saw a doctor and claimed that he was beaten by a cabby and when he woke up, his valuables were gone.

When he pleaded guilty last month to hurting the cabby, van Deijzen said in mitigation that he had been knocked unconscious by Mr Ee during the scuffle.

Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) April Phang said the district judge appeared to have been swayed by van Deijzen's claims. She argued that there can be no doubt that the attack was one-sided.

The DPP also said van Deijzen was not averse to exaggeration and fabrication, noting that he portrayed himself as the sole victim to the doctor.


This article was first published on July 2, 2015.
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