Designer jailed for hitting taxi driver

A designer who hit a taxi driver on the back of his head was jailed for three weeks on Wednesday.

Chinese national Qiu Lei Lei, 29, shouted vulgarities at Mr Neo Leong Hiap, 53, when he asked him where he wanted to go.

He had picked up Qiu and a friend in Geylang and dropped off the latter at Centrepoint shopping centre on Orchard Road, Deputy Public Prosecutor Victor Lim told the court.

Mr Neo got out of his car to ask passers by to help him find out where Qiu wanted to go, or to get him to pay his fare. But his passenger also got out and continued abusing the driver who decided to call police.

Just before they arrived Qiu tried to walk away without paying his $21 fare

When Mr Neo tried to reason with him, Qiu shoved and pushed him. He also hit him once on the head.

Two policemen tried to talk to Qiu but he started gesticulating and shouting. Despite being warned, Qiu continued to be uncooperative and was arrested.

Qiu pleaded guilty to causing hurt to Mr Neo at the taxi stand on May 25 last year. The cabby was given three days of outpatient medical leave.

Qiu, who is believed to work for an exhibition company, has given Mr Neo $600 in compensation for the loss of income, medical fees and cab fare.

District Judge Eugene Teo said it was clear a jail sentence was appropriate. He took into account that Qiu had taken full responsibility for his actions.

He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000.