Salesman jailed for kicking cabby, damaging taxi

A salesman, furious at a cabby for telling his sister who had vomited in the taxi to get out, kicked the driver in the shin. Barry Koh Cheang Wan, 35, also threw a punch at his victim, who managed to block it.

Koh then hurled an incense burner at the vehicle, causing damage amounting to $671.

Yesterday, he was jailed three weeks yesterday for hurting Mr Kwek Voon Sheng near Block 210, Compassvale Lane, in Punggol on May 5 last year .

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Chua told the court that Mr Kwek, 37, picked Koh and his sister up in Middle Road in the early hours that day. The siblings were reeking of alcohol. When they arrived in Compassvale Lane at about 2.45am, Koh's sister paid the cab fare - and vomited in the cab.

When Mr Kwek told her to step out to vomit as he still needed to ferry other passengers, Koh got angry.

He got out, opened the cab door and challenged Mr Kwek to a fight. The cabby declined. Koh then kicked him in the leg and tried to punch him. He fell instead and Mr Kwek called the police.

After Koh recovered from his fall, he continued to be aggressive. He grabbed an incense burner nearby and threw it at the taxi.

Mr Kwek was given two days' medical leave for a bruise on his right leg.

Pleading for leniency, Koh's lawyer Jeanny Ng, who did the case pro bono under the Catholic Lawyers Guild, said her client had paid the taxi driver for losses as well as a further sum of $160 for the injury.

She said Koh is well-liked by his employer and is doing a diploma course in Temasek Polytechnic sponsored by his company. Koh, whose mischief charge was taken into consideration, could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

Elena Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2015, with the headline 'Salesman jailed for kicking cabby, damaging taxi'. Print Edition | Subscribe