Private-hire driver jailed five weeks for attacking parking warden and exam invigilator in separate incidents

SINGAPORE - A 25-year-old private-hire driver has been sentenced to five weeks' jail and ordered to pay compensation for attacking a parking warden and an exam invigilator in separate incidents.

Brian Cai also threw into the sea an electronic handheld terminal (EHT) that the parking warden used to issue a summons to him.

He was sentenced on Monday (July 9) on three charges - voluntarily causing hurt, using criminal force to deter a public servant from their duties and intentionally perverting the course of justice.

The court heard that on Sept 16 last year, Cai had parked his car illegally on Kadayanallur Street.

Parking Warden Chan Hing Wai, 46, took photographs of the vehicle with his EHT.

When Cai returned, he pleaded for leniency and asked Mr Chan to delete the photos.

Mr Chan explained that there was no such function on the EHT and Cai then asked him to turn it off.

Cai then became aggressive and hit Mr Chan's left hand, causing him to drop the EHT.

Cai snatched the EHT and sped off in his vehicle.

He tried to delete the photographs but could not do so. Desperate, Cai drove to Marina Barrage and threw the EHT into the sea.

He surrendered to the police the next day and made full restitution of over $2,200 for the EHT.

The parking summons could not be retrieved.

In an earlier and separate incident, Cai punched the examination invigilator at Kaplan Higher Education.

The court heard that while taking an examination on May 13 last year, Cai used his mobile phone to send a text message to his girlfriend even though he knew this was not allowed.

When an invigilator asked him to hand over the phone, he refused and decided to leave. The invigilator followed him as Cai went to the front of the examination hall to get his belongings.

Chief invigilator Terence Lim, 41, then approached the two and was informed of what had happened.

He held onto the door handle when Cai tried to leave. Cai then punched Mr Lim and fled.

Mr Lim broke his glasses and suffered blunt trauma on his right eye. His medical fees and the cost of replacing the spectacles amounted to around $1,100.

Cai, who has since been expelled from Kaplan, was ordered to pay Mr Lim the same amount as compensation.

In mitigation, Cai's lawyer T.M. Sinnadurai, said Cai had been the victim of child abuse. He also said his client felt true remorse.

District Judge Kenneth Yap, in passing sentence, told Cai: "Obviously you have a problem with respecting authority. You had an abusive childhood but that does not justify what you did. There are people who have been abused as children who grow up to be far more sensitive people as a result."

The judge added: "Think properly the next time before you act."

Cai could have faced up to seven years in jail and fined for intentionally perverting the course of justice.