Private-hire driver jailed for attacking parking warden, invigilator

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 examination invigilator in separate incidents.

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

He was sentenced yesterday on three charges for voluntarily causing hurt, using criminal force to deter a public servant from performing his duties and intentionally perverting the course of justice.

The court heard that on Sept 16 last year, Cai had parked his car illegally in 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 the warden to delete the photos. Mr Chan explained 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. The accused snatched the EHT and sped off in his vehicle. He tried to delete the photos but could not do so. Desperate, Cai drove to Marina Barrage and threw the EHT into the sea. He surrendered to police the next day and made full restitution of over $2,200 for the EHT. The parking summons could not be retrieved.

PROBLEM WITH RESPECTING AUTHORITY

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.

DISTRICT JUDGE KENNETH YAP, in passing sentence on private-hire driver Brian Cai.

In a separate incident, Cai punched the exam invigilator at Kaplan Higher Education.

The court heard that while taking an examination on May 13 last year, the accused 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. When chief invigilator Terence Lim, 41, who was informed of the incident, held on to the door handle of the exam hall, Cai punched him and fled.

Mr Lim's glasses broke and he 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, the accused'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 been jailed up to seven years and fined for intentionally perverting the course of justice.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2018, with the headline 'Private-hire driver jailed for attacking parking warden, invigilator'. Print Edition | Subscribe