Pilot fined $5k for punching student

A pilot was fined the maximum $5,000 and ordered to pay $110 in compensation yesterday for punching an 18-year-old student on his nose and the back of his head.

Briton Joshua Powell Koke, 24, who is with low-cost carrier Jetstar, pleaded guilty to causing hurt to Mr Didier Oswaldo Molina at One Raffles Place building on Sept 19.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Clement Yong said that at about 3.30am that day, the victim and Koke had a dispute. Koke had just finished a quarter bottle of vodka at the 1-Altitude bar.The victim and his group of friends, comprising five males and three females, were blocking the path of Koke and his friend on the stairs en route to the service lift. The group moved slowly as the women were wearing high heels.

Koke then uttered the words "move, you Asian *****" in the direction of the group. A verbal dispute arose and Koke confronted the victim aggressively. The victim and his friends disengaged themselves from Koke and took a separate lift to the ground floor.

Koke saw the group again on the ground floor. Spoiling for a fight, he took off his shirt and confronted the victim. He punched him on his nose, and when the victim was bent over and defenceless, he threw another punch on the back of his head.

Koke's friend and one of the victim's friends tried to restrain him, but to no avail. Koke and his friend soon left, chased by the victim and his friends. The duo later ran into some patrolling officers.

The victim was given a day's medical leave for nose injuries.

DPP Yong did not press for a jail term but noted Koke had consumed alcohol and was physically and verbally aggressive towards the victim. Koke's lawyer Michael Lee said his client had apologised to the victim and his friends on the day itself. He said Koke has suffered mental distress as the case could mean termination by his airline.

The maximum punishment for causing hurt is a $5,000 fine and two years' jail.

This article was first published on October 13, 2015.
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