Passenger who punched cabby jailed three weeks

Unsure where exactly to drop off his sleeping passenger after arriving at a residential estate one morning in January, cab driver Tay Boon Kiang stopped the vehicle and tried repeatedly to wake the 26-year-old up.

Ho Wei Long eventually stirred and got out of the vehicle, but did not have enough money to pay for the ride.

He became aggressive, took off his shirt and swore at the cabby, who decided to forgo the fare. He had to be restrained by a bystander and his mother, who had arrived at the scene.

But the aircraft interior cleaner broke free and punched Mr Tay in the face. The cabby was later given two days of medical leave and warded for a night in hospital.

In the second such case this week, a district court on Friday sentenced Ho to three weeks in jail for his actions, noting that public transport workers like Mr Tay need protection.

Ho had pleaded guilty to voluntarily causing hurt to the cabby. One other charge of disorderly behaviour in a public place was taken into consideration.

On Monday, just four days ago, a final year business student at Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) student had also been sentenced to three weeks in jail for a similar offence.

Tan Jun Liang, 24, had also fallen asleep as he was being driven in a taxi to his destination in Choa Chu Kang Crescent.

He turned aggressive when the driver tried to wake him up for more specific directions, then held down the taxi driver and punched him in the face repeatedly.

The maximum penalty for voluntarily causing hurt is a jail term of two years and a fine of $5,000.

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