Cabby jailed for stealing phone, punching woman

A 62-year-old taxi driver who stole a woman's mobile phone and punched her in the face has been jailed for one week.

Koh Pit Ann yesterday pleaded guilty to one charge of theft and one of causing hurt.

A District Court heard that Koh met the victim, Ms Phang Chiu Yen, 42, managing director of a company dealing in healthcare and skin products, for supper at Ang Mo Kio Hub at about 11.30pm on Feb 23.

At about 3.30am the next day, they went to her flat in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1.

Ms Phang placed her Samsung Galaxy Note 5 phone worth $1,000 on her bedroom floor to charge.

At about 6.15am, just after the cabby left her unit, Ms Phang realised that her phone was missing.

She found Koh at a bus stop along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 at about 6.20am.

When Ms Phang asked him to return her mobile phone, Koh denied taking it.

But she saw a phone in his front left pocket and reached for it.

Koh stopped her by punching her in the face once, causing a 1 cm cut on her upper lip with minor bleeding.

He also grabbed her hands and pushed her, causing her to fall backwards and hit her head on the ground, before running away.

This third charge of using criminal force was taken into account in sentencing.

Koh was arrested at about 7.40am on Feb 25 while he was trying to leave Tuas Checkpoint.

The maximum punishment for theft is up to three years' jail and a fine, and for causing hurt, up to two years' jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 13, 2016, with the headline 'Cabby jailed for stealing phone, punching woman'. Print Edition | Subscribe