Club DJ jailed 10 months for assaulting cabby and breaking his eye socket

Desmond Poh Jia Jun was jailed for 10 months for assaulting a taxi driver and breaking his eye socket.
Desmond Poh Jia Jun was jailed for 10 months for assaulting a taxi driver and breaking his eye socket. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A 25-year-old disc jockey who worked at a club was on Tuesday (Sept 20) jailed for 10 months for assaulting a taxi driver and breaking his eye socket.

Desmond Poh Jia Jun, who worked at Club Magnum in 114 Middle Road, pleaded guilty to one charge of causing grievous hurt.

Another charge each of causing hurt and committing mischief were taken into account in sentencing.

A district court heard that Poh went to a Jalan Besar Road coffee shop with his friend Toh Meng Kang, 27, and his fiancee Liza Tay Juan Juan at about 4am on May 3 last year.

Shortly after, Poh argued with his fiancee.

Unhappy, Ms Tay got into Mr Richard Long Foo Yin's taxi along Jalan Besar Road at about 4.30am and asked him to take her to Clementi.

But along the way, she asked Mr Long, 51, to return to the spot where he had picked her up.

However, Mr Long made a wrong turn along the way back. Ms Tay shouted at him and told him she had a right not to pay the fare and they quarrelled.

At her request, Mr Long stopped his cab near the junction of Syed Alwi Road and Townsend Road.

She then got off the taxi without paying the fare, but Mr Long managed to hold on to her handbag and told her he would return it after she paid up.

Ms Tay then went to find Poh and Toh, while Mr Long called the police from inside the cab, the court heard.

He said: "I am a taxi driver and I have a passenger who is giving me trouble. Her handbag is in my car and she walked away without paying my fare. I think she is asking a gang to come."

As Mr Long was ending his call to the police, Ms Tay returned with Poh. He banged on the driver's side window and shouted an expletive at the cabby.

Mr Long told Poh he had already called the police, but Poh opened the door and pulled Mr Long out of the cab.

Mr Long tried to run away but he fell down. Poh bent over him and rained punches on his face.

Toh joined in the assault, hitting Mr Long's shoulder with a broom.

Poh, Toh and Ms Tay then fled.

Mr Long was taken to hospital with injuries including a cut to the forehead, bruising at the back of his head, swelling on the right side of his face, and a broken right eye socket.

He was discharged the next afternoon with four days of hospitalisation leave.

Poh was arrested a few hours after the assault, at about 7.15am in Syed Alwi Road.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Daphne Lim described Poh's conduct as "brutish and violent" and "a blatant act of hooliganism".

"He has shown himself to be a bully, with no regard for the law," she added.

Defence lawyer Thangavelu claimed that Ms Tay had been molested by Mr Long and this had angered Poh.

But DPP Lim noted that no police report has been made about the allegation previously.

Separately, while out on bail on Jan 26 this year, Poh punched Mr Boo Lijun several times on his face near the entrance of St James Power Station at about 6am. Poh also kicked the door of Mr Boo's vehicle, causing a dent and a scratch.

Poh could have been jailed for 10 years and fined and caned for causing grievous hurt.

The maximum punishment for causing hurt is two years' jail and a $5,000 fine; and for committing mischief - one years' jail and a fine.

Toh received three weeks' jail for his role in the assault on Mr Long.