Sales manager jailed for reversing car into taxi, filing false insurance claim

A sales manager, who was fetching his six-year-old son home, deliberately reversed his car into a stationary taxi. The next day, Melvyn Chua Tong Ling, 31, lied in an insurance claim that the cab had rear-ended him in January last year.

He was jailed for four months on Wednesday. He had pleaded guilty on March 19 to driving rashly and endangering the safety of his son and cabby Ng Chor Foo, and to attempting to cheat First Capital Insurance of $11,463 with the false insurance claim. District Judge Eddy Tham said that it was very fortunate that Mr Ng, 55, had captured the incident on the camera in his taxi. The footage was screened in court at last month's hearing.

It showed that at 6.30pm on Jan 10 last year, Chua stopped his car along Ang Mo Kio Street 44 to pick up his son. As it was a narrow road, Mr Ng overtook the Chua's car by going into the right lane for oncoming traffic. Just then, Chua tried to move off but had to brake suddenly when he saw the taxi moving left in front of him. It then stopped some distance ahead to let a passenger disembark. Chua sped forward and swore at Mr Ng for cutting into his lane.

Wishing to avoid a confrontation, the cabby drove off. Chua pursued him and after overtaking the taxi, he jammed his brakes, forcing the cab to stop. Chua then reversed his vehicle into the front of the taxi. The next day, Chua put in his fraudulent claim at Ah Lim Motor Company in Ang Mo Kio.

Pleading for a lenient sentence, defence counsel N. Sudha Nair said that when Chua went to complain to Mr Ng for causing him to brake suddenly which made his son fall from the back seat to the car's floor, the cabby had said: "So what? Is your son dead? If he dies, I will present you with a coffin."

In reply, Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok pointed out that there was no evidence of any provocation.