Jail for man who bit and fractured taxi driver's finger

A property agent who bit a taxi driver's fingers until he fractured one was sentenced to eight months' jail yesterday for causing grievous hurt .

In addition, M S Chandru Suryakanth, 49, was given two months' jail for disorderly behaviour while he was out on bail for the first offence.

He pleaded guilty to grievously hurting Mr Seah Poh Sam, 47, on Nov 26, 2014.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Houston Johannus told the court that Mr Seah had picked up Chandru and another passenger, Ms Anita Kumar Chanan Singh, in Yishun Street 11 that night.

Halfway through their journey to Woodlands, the couple asked to go to the Lavender area instead.

But as the taxi was travelling in Balestier Road, they asked to stop and wanted to alight.

As Mr Seah reached out to take the ATM card from Chandru, Chandru bit hard on the third and fourth fingers of his right hand. The couple left without paying the taxi fare.

At that point, Chandru took out his ATM card and said he needed to go and withdraw money, causing Mr Seah to shout at him.

As Mr Seah reached out to take the ATM card, Chandru bit hard on the third and fourth fingers of his right hand. The couple left without paying the taxi fare.

Mr Seah suffered a broken third finger. He was given four days' medical leave and needed surgery.

On Jan 9 this year, while Chandru was out on bail, he caused a disturbance at Mayflower market in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4. Police officers were dispatched to the location after someone called them.

As Chandru was being interviewed by the police, he became aggressive and started to shout and gesticulate with his hands.

Chandru, who was drunk, was arrested after repeated warnings by the police.

The court heard that he had a history of violence and disorderly behaviour since 1987. In 2003, he was given five years' corrective training.

His lawyer Anil Balchandani said Chandru is handicapped in his left hand and suffers from a mild neurocognitive disorder. He said his client is very remorseful for his actions and that his behaviour was being controlled with medication.

District Judge Lim Tse Haw, who took four other charges into consideration, said Chandru had re-offended not once, but twice, since hurting the cabby.

He allowed Chandru to defer sentence until July 4 to settle his personal affairs.

Chandru could have been jailed for up to 10 years, fined and caned for grievous hurt.

As a repeat offender for disorderly behaviour, he could have been fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed for up to 12 months.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2016, with the headline 'Jail for man who bit and fractured taxi driver's finger'. Print Edition | Subscribe