Man jailed 10 weeks for beating up taxi driver

Keeve Teo Jiarong pleaded guilty to hurting Mr Edward Lee Kok Pheng at Block 5001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex, at 3.56am on Feb 15.
Keeve Teo Jiarong pleaded guilty to hurting Mr Edward Lee Kok Pheng at Block 5001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex, at 3.56am on Feb 15. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A man who punched a taxi driver on his face was jailed for 10 weeks on Monday (July 11).

Keeve Teo Jiarong, 26, an odd job worker, pleaded guilty to hurting Mr Edward Lee Kok Pheng, 56, at Block 5001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex, at 3.56am on Feb 15 this year.

The court heard that Mr Lee was driving towards the taxi stand along Beach Road to pick up customers when he saw Madam Nellie Koh, 56, flagging his taxi. Three others, including Teo, her son, were walking behind her.

Mr Lee wound down his side window and told her that he would be proceeding to the taxi stand infront.

But Teo stepped forward and told the driver that he had booked his taxi. As Mr Lee had not received any booking, he told Teo that he might have booked another taxi.

When Teo insisted he had booked the victim's taxi and wanted to go to Jurong, Mr Lee told him to join the queue at the taxi stand.

As Mr Lee was about to drive off, Teo kicked the taxi door. Mr Lee alighted from his taxi to check.

As soon as he stood up, Teo punched Mr Lee's facial region several times and hurled vulgarities at him. Mr Lee moved backwards and tried to block the punches but the assault continued, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Shen Wanqin.

After at least 10 seconds, Teo stopped punching Mr Lee, who immediately called the police.

When Teo heard this, he launched another assault by punching and shouting at Mr Lee. He also used vulgarities at the victim.

A cabin crew member and Teo's mother were among those who dragged Teo away from the driver. Teo left by boarding another taxi.

Mr Lee suffered multiple cuts on his head and upper limb as a result of the attack.

DPP Shen asked for at least six weeks' jail. She said Teo's acts of violence were clearly perpetrated on a public transport worker, and he was the aggressor in this case.

She said Teo launched a second wave of attack after he heard the victim call the police. She pointed out that Teo re-offended shortly after his release from prison last year. Teo had convictions for causing grievous hurt with a dangerous weapon, drug consumption and moneylending.

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