Hotel singer jailed eight weeks for assaulting cabby

A club singer who assaulted a taxi driver for refusing to take his drunken friend home was jailed for eight weeks on Wednesday.

Feng Jia Cheng, 23, a Chinese national holding a work pass, had admitted grievously hurting Mr Tay Chwee Kok by punching the 55-year-old and pushing him to the ground. The victim suffered a broken left wrist and a bruise on his head.

Mr Tay had been waiting in his cab at the driveway of the Holiday Inn Atrium on Outram Road. At 4.45am on Oct 6, 2012, Feng placed his intoxicated friend into the taxi and asked the driver to take him home.

But Mr Tay was worried that Feng's friend might mess up his vehicle and asked Feng to take him out, which sparked a row. Feng punched the cabby several times before they were separated by hotel staff and others.

However Feng charged at the victim again, pushing him over onto the driveway.

Feng's lawyer Sunil Sudheesan said his client was remorseful and accepted responsibility for his actions. "He over-reacted," he said.

Mr Sudheesan added that the jail sentence would result in Feng being deported as he is not Singaporean. "He has to leave his job, the life that he has built here," he said. "That is additional punishment for this offender."

Feng has paid $6,000 to the victim for his medical bills and income loss due to his injuries.

District Judge Mathew Joseph said this was an unprovoked attack, adding that public transport workers need the protection of the law. He agreed with the prosecution that a custodial sentence was needed.

Feng could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined or caned.