SINGAPORE - A Portuguese man who punched and kicked a police officer as he tried to find out where he lived was jailed for a month on Thursday.
Video editor Carlos Eduardo Da-Cruz Ferreira, 34, was drunk and fell asleep in the back of a taxi when the cabby asked police at a road block to enquire where he lived.
After it pulled to the side of Bukit Batok East Avenue 3 last June 21, two cops tried to wake Da-Cruz Ferreira, who reeked of alcohol.
They called out to him but there was no response. Sergeant Mushawwir Adrus, 23, tapped Da-Cruz Ferreira on the shoulder, causing him to wake up briefly. The cops identified themselves and asked where he lived.
Da-Cruz Ferreira responded by punching the policeman in the right eye. Sgt Mushawwir then held his hands and asked where he lived - but was kicked in his lower abdomen. Necessary force was used to remove him from the taxi.
Staff Sgt Mushawwir, whose contact lens was dislodged, needed treatment at Alexandra Hospital.
Urging the court to jail Da-Cruz Ferreira, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sruthi Boppana said police officers are on the front line and must know they have the full protection of the law.
"The court must send a consistent signal that violence towards police officers cannot be condoned," she told District Judge Ng Peng Hong.
Lawyer Shashi Nathan said his client, whose father is a High Court judge in Portugal, had then just gone through a severe and traumatic break-up with his then girlfriend.
He said the one-off incident was triggered by his client's intoxicated state. He said Da-Cruz Ferreira has voluntarily undergone therapy for his alcohol dependence and was found to be suffering from depressive and anxiety disorders.
Da-Cruz Ferreira, who pleaded guilty, was allowed to defer sentence until April 2 to resolve his personal matters. Another charge of abusing the cop was taken into consideration.
For causing hurt to deter a public servant in carrying out his work, he could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined, caned or received any combined sentence.