SINGAPORE: The director of a manufacturing company who was sentenced to a month’s jail for hitting a taxi driver with a steel rod, successfully appealed against his sentence on Thursday.
42—year—old Zhai Lu, a Singapore permanent resident, had his sentence reduced to five days instead.
The scuffle between the two men took place in May 2010, when Zhai boarded a taxi driven by 60—year—old Mr Teo Siang Toh.
Zhai was carrying some steel rods, which he loaded into the boot of the taxi.
The dispute erupted over a miscommunication about the destination, and escalated into a full blown quarrel over payment of the taxi fare.
Zhai had asked for a receipt but was told to pay up first.
In the course of the quarrel, Mr Teo hurled vulgarities at Zhai.
After the quarrel was broken up by a security guard, Mr Teo got into his taxi and proceeded to drive out of the premises.
Zhai then shouted vulgarities at Mr Teo, who then stopped his taxi and got out.
As Mr Teo approached Zhai, Zhai picked up one of the rods he had unloaded from the boot and struck Mr Teo on the upper part of his left arm.
In court on Thursday, Zhai’s lawyer Mr Subhas Anandan asked for his sentence to be reduced to a day’s jail and a fine.
He said that Zhai lost his cool because he felt provoked by Mr Teo.
Mr Subhas appealed to Justice Lee Seiu Kin to give Zhai a second chance as he had an "excellent" background and had already suffered the shame of being prosecuted.
However, the prosecution used closed—circuit television camera footage to show that Zhai was the one who stepped forward to deliver the blow, and had not been backed into a corner.
Justice Lee noted that such violence on a public transport worker cannot be condoned.
However, he said there were mitigating factors as Zhai’s behaviour was the result of a "silly" quarrel and not gratuitously inflicted.
Mr Teo also did not suffer serious injuries.
MORE SINGAPORE NEWS
Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn
Former Palme d'Or winner Roman Polanski returns to the Croisette with 'Venus in Fur', a new adaptation of a play about the infamous sadomaso... More Former Palme d'Or winner Roman Polanski returns to the Croisette with 'Venus in Fur', a new adaptation of a play about the infamous sadomasochistic novel by Sacher-Masoch. Duration: 01:06
Date 4 hrs ago, Duration 1:06, Views 5