SINGAPORE: A SilkAir pilot was fined S$1,000 on Monday for punching a taxi driver at a condominium coffee shop.
After a seven—day trial, 48—year—old Ajmer Singh Ajit Singh was found guilty of voluntarily causing hurt to 57—year—old cabbie Chua Hock Kwee.
Ajmer Singh, who is also the chairman of the SilkAir branch of the Airline Pilots Association Singapore, is appealing against his conviction.
The court heard that there was a history of bad blood between the two men, who are also neighbours.
It began when Chua used to burn joss sticks outside his door, and when Ajmer Singh spotted many visitors at Chua’s home at odd hours.
On May 8, 2010, Ajmer Singh received a call from a security guard, Ranjit Singh, to go to the coffee shop at the Changi Gardens Condominium. Ajmer Singh was told that a resident, Yong Fah Nam, wanted to speak with him.
He went down to the coffee shop and spotted Yong and Chua drinking beer.
Chua testified that Ajmer Singh was "walking towards their table aggressively" and also accused Chua of being a gangster. Chua then claimed that Ajmer punched him, causing his dentures to fall out.
During the trial, Ajmer Singh’s lawyer, Mr Subir Singh Grewal, gave a different take. The court heard that Chua "lunged" at Ajmer Singh, falling and hurting himself in the process.
Chua was taken to hospital where he was given three days of medical leave for pain in his left cheek. Chua said that he incurred nearly S$3,000 in medical costs.
District Judge Roy Neighbour, in his sentencing, turned down the prosecution’s call for compensation as Chua suffered a "slight injury".
Chua, later told the media that he was dissatisfied with the outcome and may be pursuing the matter by filing a civil claim.
For voluntarily causing hurt, Ajmer Singh could have been jailed up to two years and fined S$5,000.
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