Drunk man jailed for slashing youth's arm

He was angry with victim's friend who struck his van over the reckless way he was driving

A highly intoxicated van driver slashed a youth's arm after one of the victim's friends struck the side of his vehicle over the way he was driving in a carpark on New Year's Day.

Kugan Kesavan, 27, who works as a driver, was jailed nine months yesterday for hurting student Jonathan Soo Wen Jie, 17, with a knife in the carpark in front of Club Gossip at St James Power Station at about 6am on Jan 1 this year.

He was fined $2,000 - or jailed for one week in default - and banned from driving for 12 months for having no less than 134mg of ethanol per 100ml of blood that day. The legal limit is 80mg.

A District Court heard that Jonathan and his friends were leaving St James Power Station after a night out when they saw a white van heading towards them in a reckless manner as they were crossing the carpark driveway. One of them then struck the side of the vehicle.

Kugan, the driver, got out with a knife in his hand.

At the time, Jonathan was near the driver's door.

Kugan shouted in Tamil before slashing Jonathan twice on his left forearm and once on his elbow.

He then pointed his knife at the victim's friends before returning to his van.

Several policemen, who were on foot patrol, heard some people shouting: "He has a knife!'' They went to the scene and Kugan was subdued.

Jonathan was taken to hospital for cuts to his forearm and elbow. He was discharged on Jan 4.

Separately, Kugan was convicted in January this year and jailed three months for causing hurt to a public servant.

His lawyer, Mr Amarick Gill, said his client understood the severity of his offence of causing hurt with a dangerous weapon.

He said Kugan's wife, who was in court, has to take care of their three children, including six-month-old twin girls.

He said she had severely chastised Kugan.

Kugan, who did not pay the fine, could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined, caned or received any combined punishment for causing hurt with a dangerous weapon.

The maximum punishment for drink driving is a $5,000 fine and six months in jail, plus a minimum 12-month disqualification.

Correction note: An earlier version of the story stated that the fine amount was $1,000. The Court has clarified that it is  $2,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2016, with the headline 'Drunk man jailed for slashing youth's arm'. Print Edition | Subscribe