SINGAPORE - Three men assaulted cabby Esman Siran after he sounded his horn to urge them to hurry up.
Joseph Doray Saverymuthu, 40, Sidney Fernando, 35, and Mohammad Nasar Mohamed Sali, 39, had taken some time to speak to the cabby waiting ahead of Mr Esman at the taxi stand infront of Holland Village Shopping Centre.
After Mr Esman, who was second in line, sounded his horn to ask them to hurry up on Dec 16, 2015, Doray approached the 60-year-old's taxi and rapped the passenger side window.
Mr Esman got out of the taxi and the two exchanged some words.
Suddenly, Doray punched the cabby in his face. A passer-by tried to intervene but Fernando told him to leave.
Fernando then swung his sling bag at Mr Esman's face, causing him to fall to the ground. The cabby was then kicked and punched by the trio.
They fled when a crowd gathered.
Mr Esman was taken to National University Hospital and treated for his injuries which included a broken nose, multiple abrasions, loose tooth and swollen eyes.
Prior to the assault, the trio had drinks in Holland Village.
Earlier in the year, Doray stole a lorry at a warehouse in Penjuru Lane for a joy ride. He did not have a valid licence and insurance coverage.
This happened between July 3 and 6, 2015 when he was working as a forklift driver.
During the joy ride, he used the lorry to take his acquaintances from Cuff Road to Boat Quay to have drinks. He also drove the lorry to Tekka and Geylang before returning it to the warehouse on July 6.
Doray had previous convictions for attempted burglary, driving-related offences, rape, criminal intimidation and insulting modesty.
The prosecution had sought preventive detention for Doray to protect the public, saying he has a high risk of re-offending.
Assistant Public Prosecutor Koh Huimin told District Judge Low Wee Ping that Doray committed offences while on bail, lacked remorse, and was a "hardened and habitual criminal" who posed a danger to the public.
But his pro bono lawyer Sadhana Rai argued Doray is capable of reform if given the opportunity.
She said this was the first time Doray had committed a violent offence, adding that preventive detention is for extreme cases.
On Thursday (Jan 26), Doray was sentenced to four years' jail and banned from driving for six years after he had admitted to four charges with three others taken into consideration.
His sentence was backdated to Dec 31, 2015.