Financial analyst jailed 4 weeks for punching taxi driver

SINGAPORE - A taxi passenger who kept changing his mind about where he wanted to go will now be heading to prison after he launched a verbal and physical attack on his driver.

British financial analyst John Jefferson, 26, punched Mr Sukhdew Singh Banta Singh, 55, in the eye after hurling vulgarities at him.

He was jailed for four weeks after pleading guilty in a district court on Tuesday (April 24) to voluntarily causing hurt in May last year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tang Shangjun said Jefferson flagged down Mr Singh's taxi and told him to go to River Valley Close, but switched destinations to Kim Seng on the way.

When they reached Kim Seng, Jefferson said he no longer wanted to go there and made Mr Singh drive around in circles, before eventually stopping at Robertson Pier.

DPP Tang said he hurled vulgarities at Mr Singh, as he claimed the taxi driver had "driven to the wrong place".

He got out of the taxi without paying the fare and booked a Grab car on his phone.

At about 4am, Jefferson got into the Grab car and Mr Singh tried to stop him from leaving, but was punched in the left eye area, knocking his spectacles off.

The Grab driver called the police and Jefferson finally coughed up the $12 taxi fare.

Mr Singh was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital where he was found to have a swollen left cheek. He was given two days' medical leave.

Jefferson's lawyer Tan Jun Yin said in mitigation that the offence was "out of character" for him, and that he had a low risk of re-offending.