Briton gets maximum fine of $5,000 for punching student in road rage case

Briton Alan Benjamin Maybury admitted to punching polytechnic student Lum Kwok Weng.
Briton Alan Benjamin Maybury admitted to punching polytechnic student Lum Kwok Weng.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - A former consultant was slapped with the maximum fine of $5,000 on Thursday (Jan 14) for punching a teenage driver who had crashed into a taxi in which he and his wife were passengers.

Briton Alan Benjamin Maybury, 34, unemployed, admitted to punching polytechnic student Lum Kwok Weng, 19, on his face multiple times along South Buona Vista Road at about 1.30am on Nov 30, 2014.

A second charge of using abusive words by shouting expletives at the teenager was considered during sentencing.

Investigations showed that, at about 1.30am that day, Mr Lum was driving his mother's Toyota Camry car down South Buona Vista Road with a friend seated in front. They had wound down their windows to enjoy the night breeze.

At around the same time, Maybury and his Singaporean wife were passengers in a taxi in going in the opposite direction. They were on their way home after dinner at a friend's place and had consumed two glasses of champagne each.

As Mr Lum's car approached one of the sharper bends along the road, the car skidded into the lane meant for oncoming traffic. It crashed head-on into the taxi. Both Mr Lum and his friend were shocked and remained in the car.

Maybury got out of the taxi and shouted an expletive at Mr Lum before punching him on the face and hurling vulgarities. The punching stopped only when a motorcyclist stopped to intervene and called the police.

Mr Lum was found to have a mild swelling at the right side of his mouth which had a superficial 0.5cm cut.

Maybury's lawyer Suresh Damodara said in mitigation that his client acted the way he did "because of certain extreme and extenuating factors operating on his mind and psyche'' immediately after and as a result of the accident.

He said Maybury and his wife were injured due to Mr Lum's dangerous and reckless conduct. He said Maybury was shocked and extremely concerned for the physical well-being of his wife, who suffered spasms of extreme pain from the sudden jolt caused by the accident.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mansoor Amir asked for an appropriate fine to be imposed given the exceptional circumstances found in the present case.

He said the victim had lost control of his car as he navigated a bend along South Buona Vista Road, resulting in the head-on collision with the taxi.

"It was the accident that caused the accused's momentary outburst of violence," he said.

Maybury could have been jailed for up to two years and fined for voluntarily causing hurt.