Unemployed man jailed for punching bus driver, ordered to pay $200 compensation

SINGAPORE - An unemployed man who attacked a bus driver when he was drunk was jailed for two months on Tuesday.

Soon Yiam Hwa, 57, who pleaded guilty to punching the head and stomach of Mr Su Ji Liang, was also ordered to pay $200 compensation to the 38-year-old victim.

A court heard that Soon boarded the SBSTransit bus service No 186 along Havelock Road on June 4. When he tapped his EZlink card, it was not detected and the card reader started beeping.

Mr Su told him to tap again. Soon became agitated and started abusing the victim. Other passengers who were trying to boarding the bus told him to move on and he did.

But when the bus stopped along Ganges Avenue to pick up passengers, Soon walked to the front of the bus and started shouting at the driver again. He then used his finger to press the side of the victim's head.

Despite intervention from passengers, he refused to calm down and continued shouting at the victim. He then punched the left side of the victim's head and his stomach area three to four times.

The passengers on board the bus managed to calm him down and called the police who arrested him.

Soon, who was reeking of alcohol, was found to have 188mg of ethanol per 100ml of blood. For a driver of a vehicle this amount would be more than twice the legal limit.

He has previous convictions for drink driving and causing hurt by dangerous weapon.

A charge of being drunk in a public place to cause annoyance was taken into consideration during his sentencing.

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