SINGAPORE: A lorry driver in an altercation with a cyclist that was caught on video was found guilty on Tuesday (Dec 17) of causing hurt to the cyclist by a rash act and of failing to make a police report within a day of the accident.
Teo Seng Tiong, 58, had contested the charges, saying he had swerved to avoid a taxi and did not injure the cyclist, 35-year-old British national Eric Cheung Hoyu.
However, District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt said he had considered the evidence and found that the prosecution had proven both charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
"I find that the accused had deliberately swerved his lorry into the path of the cyclist. I reject (his argument) that he swerved instinctively because he collided with a taxi," he said. "There is simply no basis to support his defence."
READ: Lorry driver in altercation with cyclist says he swerved to avoid taxi, did not hit cyclist
The incident occurred along Pasir Ris Drive 3 towards New Loyang Link on Dec 22 last year.
Teo's lawyer Chia Boon Teck argued during the trial that his client had swerved left into the cyclist as he had heard a honk on the right that he thought came from a taxi beside him.
Mr Chia also claimed there was "never any physical contact between the lorry and the bicycle". Cheung had jumped off his bike and rolled onto a grass verge.
After the incident, video clips showing part of the altercation went viral, and a petition was set up online urging the traffic police to return Teo his impounded lorry, with more than 8,000 signatures.
Cheung was fined S$2,800 in April for mischief and for not cycling in an orderly and careful manner as required under traffic regulations.
The judge adjourned mitigation and sentencing to next year.
READ: Fine for cyclist involved in altercation with lorry driver in Pasir Ris
If found guilty of causing hurt by a rash act, Teo faces up to a year's jail and a maximum S$5,000 fine.
The penalty for a first-time offender who fails to make a police report within 24 hours of a traffic accident is a maximum jail term of three months and a fine of up to S$1,000.
He could also be banned from driving.