Violent offender back in jail a fourth time since 2010 for two new attacks

SINGAPORE - Recalcitrant offender Vikneswaran Ruvy is back in jail again for a fourth time since 2010 - yet again for causing hurt.

This time the 29-year-old former laundry assistant, who was jailed for punching and killing another person in 2012, appeared in court after attacking a taxi driver, and being part of a group who attacked a laundromat supervisor.

He was jailed for two years and one week on Friday (May 25), with Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Ong telling the court that he "has not changed his ways" and that any attempts to seek reformation "must be met with circumspection".

Vikneswaran, who on one previous occasion was given three strokes of the cane, pleaded guilty to six charges - voluntarily causing hurt to a taxi driver, voluntarily causing grievous hurt to a laundromat worker and four traffic violations.

Another two charges were considered for sentencing.

The court heard that in the early hours of Aug 4, 2016, Vikneswaran caught a cab from Serangoon Central, where he had been drinking with a friend, to his Merpati Road home where he failed to pay the driver his fare.

When cabby Mr Chong Kwek Chin got out to protest, Vikneswaran hurled vulgarities at him before punching him in the face and kicking him to the ground, where he continued his assault.

Mr Chong managed to get back in his car and lock the doors but Vikneswaran punched the windows and left side mirror of his cab, dislodging it.

A passer by alerted police at 4.05am. Officers arrived within minutes and found Vikneswaran smelling strongly of alcohol.

Mr Chong suffered a broken bone in his hand and other injuries. He was given medical leave for a week and a further 15 days of hospital leave.

It took over two months before he could drive his cab again.

In a separate incident on Aug 24 that year, Vikneswaran and two colleagues punched Mr Zaini Jerma'ain, an operational supervisor at a laundromat, in the face several times - breaking his nose. The trio had earlier been drinking in Changi Village.

"The repeated nature and short gap between the offences are arbitrarily disturbing," said DPP Ong.

Judge Ow Yong Tuck Leong agreed, calling Vikneswaran a "recalcitrant offender".

Vikneswaran will also be banned from driving for two years after his release for refusing to take a police breath test on May 18 last year.

His traffic offences include driving a lorry without the appropriate licence.