SINGAPORE - A taxi driver who pushed an elderly colleague on his face, causing him to fall, was jailed for a day and fined $3,000 on Thursday (Sept 1).
Eng Poh Jin, 50, was ordered to pay compensation of $205 to Mr Qew Chiu Siaw Fui, 74.
Eng admitted to causing hurt to Mr Qew at the C-nergy gas station at Old Toh Tuck Road on April 27 last year.
They were both driving Trans-Cab taxis which run on compressed natural gas (CNG).
As a result of a mistake, Mr Qew had paid for the gas pumped by Eng, and told a pump attendant about it.
According to Eng, he had earlier tried to find out who paid for his gas but no one responded. He was leaving the gas station when he was stopped by a pump attendant and Mr Qew.
A dispute arose and Eng pushed Mr Qew on his face, causing him to fall backwards.
Eng handed $20 to the pump attendant for the gas before driving off and the money was handed over to Mr Qew, who subsequently called the police for help.
Mr Qew complained of pains in his back and neck and was taken to hospital and given outpatient treatment. A medical report showed he had a fracture of a vertebra.
Eng's lawyer Irving Choh said in his mitigation plea that his client had tried to find out who paid for his gas but received no response at the cafeteria where the three machines were. The three machines serve to top up one's gas card to activate one's pump, and to pay for one's gas.
He said Eng was driving out when he was stopped by Mr Qew and two pump attendants. What he did not expect was to be immediately besieged with a barrage of profanities by Mr Qew, who called him a cheat, among other things, he said. Counsel claimed Mr Qew challenged his client to hit him and insulted the latter's mother in Hokkien.
Eng lost his temper and pushed Mr Qew, the lawyer said.
Eng, who had a similar conviction, could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt.