Briton fined $5,000 for road rage

A Briton who punched a 19-year-old driver repeatedly in the face in a road rage case was fined the maximum of $5,000 yesterday, but was spared a jail term.

Noting that the victim had driven inconsiderately, the prosecution had asked for "an appropriate fine" to be imposed on former consultant Alan Benjamin Maybury, 34.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mansoor Amir said the courts have generally imposed a jail sentence in road rage cases, to protect the public from wanton expressions of violence by road users. But exceptions are made when an accident is caused by the victim of the assault and the accused's use of violence is due to him losing control out of fear, or concern for a loved one, whose safety has been endangered and where the victim's injuries are not serious.

At about 1.30am on Nov 30, 2014, polytechnic student Lum Kwok Weng was driving his mother's carin South Buona Vista Road with a friend. At about the same time, Maybury and his Singaporean wife were in a taxi coming from the opposite direction. As Mr Lum's car approached one of the sharper bends along the road, the car skiddedand crashed head-on into the taxi.

Maybury got out of the taxi and shouted an expletive at Mr Lum, before punching him in the face. The punching stopped only when a motorcyclist intervened and called the police. Mr Lum suffered mild swelling at the right side of his mouth, with a superficial 0.5cm cut.

Maybury's lawyer said his client, now unemployed, and his wife were injured due to Mr Lum's recklessness. Maybury was shocked and concerned for the well-being of his wife, who had spasms of extreme pain from the sudden jolt.

DPP Mansoor noted it was the accident that had caused Maybury's momentary outburst of violence. The victim paid a composition fine for inconsiderate driving, he added.

Maybury could have been jailed for up to two years and fined for voluntarily causing hurt.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2016, with the headline 'Briton fined $5,000 for road rage'. Print Edition | Subscribe