Ex-kitchen helper jailed six weeks for punching taxi driver at carpark in Tampines

A kitchen helper got angry with a taxi driver for allegedly overcharging him and ended up punching the driver in the face in an incident last May.

On Monday morning, the helper, who stopped working in January this year, was sentenced to six weeks' jail for the attack. Koh Tong Guan, 48, admitted to punching Mr Lee Lin, 41, at the carpark of Block 885A Tampines Street 83 on May 1 last year. The court heard that Koh had been drinking after finishing work on April 30.

At about 3.15am, he and his friend flagged down the victim's taxi along Eu Tong Sen Street in Chinatown. His friend alighted at Serangoon Avenue 2, and along the way to Tampines, Koh fell asleep.

When they arrived in Tampines, the cabby asked for the $24.25 fare but Koh gave only $24 and asked for change as he felt that the victim had taken a longer route.

As a result of the dispute, Koh punched Mr Lee on the face in the taxi. Both got out and when Mr Lee tried to take a video of Koh with his mobile phone, Koh threw a flurry of punches at the victim. The victim managed to dodge most of the punches but one landed on his face. Koh also slapped the victim on the back.

Koh threatened Mr Lee by saying that his taxi's licence plate was easy to remember and that he would smash it the next time he saw it on the road.

Mr Lee, who later called the police, had a sore jaw and scratches on the forearm.

Koh, who was allowed to defer sentence for a week, could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt.