SINGAPORE: A man has been sentenced to eight months’ jail for breaking the middle finger of a taxi driver.
45—year—old S. Gopikrishnan, who works as a credit collection officer, pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing grievous hurt to 58—year—old Pang Weng Fong on 3 May 2011.
Gopikrishnan, who has also been ordered to pay S$120 in compensation to Pang, is appealing against his conviction.
The incident took place near the Bartley Road exit of Kaki Bukit Flyover.
Gopikrishnan cut across Pang’s path. A female passenger was in the taxi at that point.
Pang sounded his horn and Gopikrishnan pointed his middle finger at Pang in response.
Both drivers then parked their cars at the roadside.
Pang tried to take a picture of Gopikrishnan.
Gopikrishnan swore at Pang and threatened to punch him if he did not hand over the camera.
During the spat, Gopikrishnan pulled Pang’s hand and twisted his middle finger in the process.
The prosecutor described Gopikrishnan as "aggressive" and highlighted that considerable force had been used.
He called for a jail term of up to nine months and added that a deterrent sentence had to be imposed to deter "such loutish behaviour."
In his mitigation, Gopikrishnan’s lawyer said that his client was a first offender and suffered from a medical condition.
Noting this, the judge spared Gopikrishnan from caning.
But the judge added that the incident was initiated by him and it was "clear" that a jail term was warranted.
Gopikrishnan also had his bail increased from S$5,000 to S$10,000.
For voluntarily causing grievous hurt, he could have been jailed up to ten years, and fined or caned.
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