Man jailed 10 weeks for assaulting cabby

A man who punched a taxi driver in the face was jailed for 10 weeks yesterday.

Keeve Teo Jiarong, 26, an odd-job worker, pleaded guilty to hurting Mr Edward Lee Kok Pheng, 56, at Block 5001 in Beach Road at 3.56am on Feb 15 this year.

The court heard that Mr Lee was driving towards a taxi stand in Beach Road when he saw Madam Nellie Koh, 56, flagging his taxi. Three others, including Teo, her son, were walking behind her.

Mr Lee wound down his side window and told her he would be proceeding to the taxi stand in front.

But Teo told the cabby that he had booked his taxi. As Mr Lee had not received any booking, he told Teo that he might have booked another taxi.

When Teo insisted he had booked the victim's taxi and wanted to go to Jurong, Mr Lee told him to join the queue at the taxi stand.

As Mr Lee was about to drive off, Teo kicked the taxi door.

Mr Lee alighted from his vehicle.

As soon as he got out, Teo punched him in the face several times and hurled vulgarities at him. Mr Lee moved backwards and tried to block the punches but the assault continued, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Shen Wanqin.

When Teo stopped punching Mr Lee, the latter called the police.Teo then launched another assault, punching the cabby again and hurling vulgarities.

An airline cabin crew member and Teo's mother were among those who dragged Teo away from the driver. Teo then left in another taxi. Mr Lee suffered multiple cuts from the attack.

DPP Shen asked for at least six weeks' jail. She said Teo's acts of violence were targeted at a public transport worker, and that he was the aggressor.

She said Teo launched a second attack after he heard the victim call the police. She pointed out that he had re-offended shortly after his release from prison last year. Teo had convictions for causing grievous hurt with a dangerous weapon, drug consumption and moneylending.

He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2016, with the headline 'Man jailed 10 weeks for assaulting cabby'. Print Edition | Subscribe