Man jailed for attacking bus drivers two days in a row over bus fare to Yishun

Man jailed for attacking bus drivers two days in a row over bus fare to Yishun

smrt bus stock pix
File photo of an SMRT bus. 

SINGAPORE: A 27-year-old man previously fined for punching a passenger on a bus was jailed nine weeks on Tuesday (Apr 16) for attacking two bus drivers. 

Nurhidayat Selamat tussled with the two SMRT bus drivers over two days in February this year, after unsuccessfully trying to pay a lower fare.

On the morning of Feb 8, he boarded bus service 171 along Bukit Panjang Road and slipped S$1 into the coin box.

The 36-year-old bus driver asked Nurhidayat where he wanted to go, and he replied "Yishun", the court heard.

The driver told Nurhidayat that the fare to Yishun was S$2.30, and that what he had paid was insufficient.

Nurhidayat began quarrelling with the bus driver, before suddenly punching him in the face. He then got down the bus. 

The bus driver reported the matter to the Bus Operations Control Centre and continued his journey to the final destination, Yishun.

A medical report later showed that he suffered swelling, bruising and tenderness on his upper jaw and cheek.

The next day, Nurhidayat boarded bus service 171 again. It was driven by a 57-year-old man this time.

Nurhidayat inserted a S$2 note into the ticket machine. He said he was going to Yishun when asked by the bus driver. 

The driver told him that it costs S$2.30 to go there, and that he had not paid enough money for it.

Nurhidayat grew angry and punched the acrylic pane behind the bus driver's seat, before using a vulgarity on him and swinging one of his arms downwards onto the driver's arm.

Nurhidayat shouted "I go and change", intending to exchange money for change but did not manage to do so "as nobody replied", the prosecutor said.

The bus driver called for help and later went to hospital where he was examined and discharged.

HE ADMITTED TO FEELING ANGRY AND STRESSED

Nurhidayat admitted that he was angry with the first driver as he had only S$1, could not understand what the Chinese national was saying and felt stressed in the situation.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntarily causing hurt and one count of using an indecent word against a public service worker, with two other charges taken into consideration for sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Seah Ee Wei asked for at least nine weeks' jail, saying that Nurhidayat had a "propensity for violence" and was last convicted in 2016 of punching a passenger on a bus, for which he was fined S$3,500.

The prosecutor added that the first punch was unprovoked, and that by the time Nurhidayat took the bus on the second day, he "cannot claim to say he didn't know what the fare was".

His defence lawyer Henry Lim said he had no objection to the prosecutor's sentencing submission, adding that remand has had a strong impact on Nurhidayat.

Nurhidayat told the judge: "I know what I have done. I will change my attitude and I'm pleading for your honour's leniency."

Source: CNA/ll(gs)

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