Teenager jailed for New Year's Day assault on man last year over taxi dispute

SINGAPORE - Turning aggressive over a dispute in the early hours of New Year's Day last year, a teenager assaulted the man he had just challenged for a cab, leaving him bloodied and with bruises and abrasions on the head.

Taking weapons from a nearby coffeeshop, Chng Min Sheng, then 18, even hit his drunk victim with a beer bottle and threw a stool at him.

Engineer Cha Sangsu, 29, went to hospital for his injuries and needed two days of medical leave.

On Wednesday, Chng , now 20, was jailed for a day and fined $1,000 for hurting his 30-year-old victim outside Oriental Plaza along New Bridge Road.

Chng, then a full time national serviceman, was fined a further $600 for shoving his brother's primary school teacher three weeks later, over vulgar messages sent on Whatsapp. He was also fined $1,800 and banned from driving for a year over a separate set of driving-related offences committed on Feb 23 last year, which left a rental car flipped over in the middle of the road.

The court heard that around 5am on New Year's Day last year, Chng had appeared beside Mr Cha and tried to board the taxi which the man was about to enter. Chng then assaulted Mr Cha, together with other unidentified persons and one of the passengers that had just alighted from the vehicle.

On Jan 20 last year, Chng had also gotten into a dispute with his brother's teacher, whom the brother had added to a group chat including other students and Chng. After asking Chng to stop swearing in the conversation, the teacher, 34-year-old Ko Kuan Woei, told Chng he wanted to speak to his father and agreed to discuss things at school.

Chng confronted Mr Ko the next day at Hougang Primary School, where he made a scene in front of other school staff and later shoved the teacher when he turned up and introduced himself.

Probation was not recommended for Chng, who was placed on an 18-month probation term in 2009 for a previous hurt offence. He could have been jailed for up to one year and fined up to $1,000 for voluntarily causing hurt to the engineer. For using criminal force on the teacher, he could have been jailed for up to three months and fined up to $1,500.