Student jailed for punching taxi driver and damaging Nets payment terminal

Student Nagaraj Chinna Maruthu Servai was jailed two months for punching a taxi driver and damaging a Nets payment terminal.
Student Nagaraj Chinna Maruthu Servai was jailed two months for punching a taxi driver and damaging a Nets payment terminal. PHOTO: ST GRAPHIC

SINGAPORE - A polytechnic student who punched a taxi driver and damaged a Nets payment terminal was jailed for two months on Monday (Sept 7).

Nagaraj Chinna Maruthu Servai, 22, was also ordered to pay compensation of $2,310 to the driver and for damaging the Nets machine and taxi door.

He had pleaded guilty to one count of mischief and another of grabbing Mr Yak Yam Seng and punching the 45-year-old cabby in the face. Mr Yak suffered multiple superficial scratch marks.

The court heard that Nagaraj and an unknown man boarded Mr Yap's taxi at Clarke Quay at about 2.30am on Feb 20 last year. On arrival at Bedok Central, Nagaraj indicated that he would like to pay the fare using his ATM card.

After failing to key in the correct personal identification number, Nagaraj threw the machine and the cabby's water bottle he had grabbed earlier, against the front passenger seat.

When the taxi driver was stepping out of his vehicle, Nagaraj grabbed him and after a struggle, punched the cabby in the face before fleeing.

Mr Yak who was treated at a polyclinic for multiple scratch marks and tenderness over the nose was given four days of medical leave.

Nagaraj's lawyer Louis Joseph said his client, who is pursuing a diploma in aerospace electronics, had done very well in school. He had also attended counselling to address concerns and issues pertaining to his life.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Soh Weiqi said Nagaraj had not shown remorse, had little regard for the law, and was not willing to compensate the victim for the injuries that he had caused.

Nagaraj, who has had convictions for unlicensed moneylending harassment and disorderly behaviour, could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt. The maximum punishment for mischief is two years' jail and a fine.

Another mischief charge was taken into consideration.