Jailed for attacking cabby over $20 fare

Jailed for attacking cabby over $20 fare

A 31-year-old commodities broker who kicked and punched a cabby over $20 in fares was jailed for two weeks Wednesday.

Briton Elliott Raymond Pitcher was also ordered to pay $5,000 in compensation to Mr Gui Hwee Meng, 59.

Pitcher, who had been drinking before boarding the cab in the early hours of Sept 12 last year, had argued with Mr Gui over the route to his home in Gilstead Road.

When the cabby almost missed a turn, he hit him on the head. Later, he attacked Mr Gui after a dispute over how to settle the fare, kicking the cabby in the face and abdomen and continuing to punch and kick him after he had fallen to his knees.

District Judge Siva Shanmugam, when handing down the punishment, said taxi drivers provide an "essential public service" and had "every right" to work in a safe environment.

He took into consideration Pitcher's offer of compensation, which had been paid, and his guilty plea. Also, it was the Briton's first brush with the law.

His lawyer Suresh Damodara pleaded for leniency, saying Pitcher had acted "out of character". He also said his client had suffered injuries, including a broken nose, when Mr Gui tried to defend himself.

But Assistant Public Prosecutor Andrew Low pointed out that Pitcher had been the "architect" of his own injuries. He also said jail terms for similar cases typically ranged from four to six weeks.

Pitcher could have been jailed for a maximum of two years and fined $5,000 for voluntarily causing hurt to the cabby.

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