Man boarded taxi with other passengers and assaulted cabby; jailed a month

SINGAPORE - A 21-year-old man assaulted a cabby who had picked up other passengers, boarding the taxi anyway and throwing punches at him as he drove off.

Shane Chia Chih Wei hit the rear bumper of Mr Yeo Tze Phern's vehicle to stop him from driving off and entered in the back, where the two women were seated. He scolded and attacked Mr Yeo from behind, leaving the 52-year-old with bruises in the head and needing six days of medical leave.

On Thursday, Chia, then a full-time national serviceman, was sentenced to one month in jail for hurting the cabby on Feb 10 last year.

But his overall prison term comes up to a year, after the court ordered the one month sentence to run at the same time as a separate 12-month term for grievously hurting a 21-year-old woman with a glass cup over a dispute at a party.

The court heard that Chia, now 22, had attacked Mr Yeo around 2.50 am on Feb 10 last year, after Mr Yeo had picked up two women aged 20 and 31 outside Peace Centre along Sophia Road. The two women and Chia's friend, who had also entered the cab in the front passenger seat, tried to calm Chia down as he scolded Mr Yeo, unhappy that the taxi had not stopped promptly. They all tried to restrain Chia from assaulting the cabby, and Chia's friend pulled him out of the vehicle.

On October 15 that same year, Chia assaulted his second victim, Ms Cherie Lim, after a shouting match at Playhouse club in Clarke Quay mall. The two, who were friends, had been there to celebrate a mutual friend's birthday.

Ms Lim was left with injuries including deep lacerations on her eye and face, and needed surgery.

Chia's lawyer said that he was remorseful and has paid Ms Lim $45,000 in compensation. He also paid Mr Yeo $762.70 for his injuries, and $973 for damage caused to his vehicle.

Chia, who also admitted to committing mischief by hitting and punching the taxi, could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000 for hurting its driver. For grievously hurting Ms Lim, he could have been jailed for up to 10 years, and fined or caned.