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Singapore

Rowdy cab passenger jailed after hitting roof of taxi before striking driver

Rowdy cab passenger jailed after hitting roof of taxi before striking driver

File photo of Orchard Towers. (Photo: Jalelah Abu Baker)

SINGAPORE: A taxi driver who picked up four passengers at Orchard Towers tried to stop their rowdy behaviour in his cab, but was hit in the face instead.

The passenger who hit him, 32-year-old Muhammad Fadly Rosli, was on Monday (Dec 30) sentenced to four weeks' jail and ordered to compensate the cabby for his medical bills.

The court heard that the 49-year-old cabby had picked up Fadly and three other companions at Orchard Towers at about 11.05pm on Jul 31 this year.

The four of them were heading to Sumang Walk, with Fadly seated in the back.

During the journey, the three men and one woman behaved rowdily and hit the roof of the vehicle multiple times, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Ho Jiayun.

Concerned about safety, the taxi driver warned the passengers repeatedly not to hit the roof of the cab, but they did not heed him.

A dispute broke out among the cabby, Fadly and another passenger. During the spat, Fadly hit the taxi driver on the left side of his face.

The cabby began driving to the nearest police station, but the passengers alighted at a traffic junction in Ang Mo Kio when he stopped his taxi.

Fadly and a companion returned to pay the cab fare. The victim later called the police at 11.32pm, saying he had been hit and that he was driving around to find the passengers.

The driver went to the Accident and Emergency Department at Sengkang General Hospital and was treated for tenderness on his face. He was given two days of medical leave.

Fadly pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt on Monday, with the prosecutor pushing for four weeks' jail.

She said the victim was a public transport worker, more vulnerable to violence and constantly exposed in frontline service.

The offence took place at night and the victim had caused no provocation and was trying to calm the passengers down, said the prosecutor.

He was "placed in such fear that he felt compelled to drive to a police station".

The prosecutor also listed a string of past convictions Fadly has from 2001, including rioting, desertion from the Singapore Civil Defence Force and theft.

She asked the court to also impose a compensation order covering the victim's A&E bills.

Fadly, who was not represented, pleaded for leniency. For voluntarily causing hurt, Fadly could have been jailed for up to two years, fined S$5,000, or both.

Source: CNA/ll(mi)

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