HR executive fined $4,800 for scratching car of driver who sounded horn at him earlier

Jonathan Damian Poh Eng Wan, 54, was fined $4,800 after he admitted to committing mischief.
Jonathan Damian Poh Eng Wan, 54, was fined $4,800 after he admitted to committing mischief. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A human resource consultant chanced upon the car whose driver had earlier sounded the horn at him, and decided to scratch its rear bumper out of anger.

On Wednesday (Nov 15), Jonathan Damian Poh Eng Wan, 55, was fined $4,800 after he admitted to committing mischief. He had scratched Mr Leong Liang Hee's car at the carpark of Square 2 shopping mall in Novena on Jan 31.

He has made full restitution of $820 to the victim.

Investigations showed that Mr Leong was driving his black Honda Odyssey car along the middle lane of Moulmein Road that day while Poh's black Peugeot was positioned just ahead of the victim's car.

After passing the junction of Moulmein Road and Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Mr Leong changed lanes, and moved his vehicle into the adjacent lane on the right.

Poh simultaneously also tried to change lanes and cut in front of the victim's car. This nearly caused the two cars to collide.

When Poh's car encroached upon the lane, Mr Leong sounded the horn at Poh a few times, before slowing down and allowing Poh's car to move ahead of him and into the same lane.

Mr Leong parked his car at Square 2 to run some errands.

After dropping off his wife at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Poh drove to Square 2 at about 10.30am and spotted the victim's black multi-purpose vehicle at the carpark.

Feeling angry and upset that the driver had sounded the horn at him earlier, he decided to scratch the car in revenge.

He loitered for a while before walking to the rear of the Honda, squatted and scratched the rear bumper, resulting in a long white scratch. The total cost of the damage was $820.

Mr Leong found the scratch on the rear bumper of his car and reported the matter to the police the next day.

Poh was caught in the act by the Honda's in-car camera, and he was arrested the next day.

Pleading for leniency, Poh's lawyer T. M. Sinnadurai said his client's offence was "absolutely out of character", as attested by the testimonials he had submitted in his mitigation plea.

He said Poh compensated the victim long before he was charged, and had also apologised to Mr Leong.

District Judge Soh Tze Bian told Poh: "You are 55, shouldn't behave like a young man... very rash. Take this as a lesson and not commit any more crimes."

Poh could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for mischief by causing loss or damage to the amount of $500 or more.