SINGAPORE — A 71-year-old cabby who drove into a man and fractured his knee after a dispute was jailed for four weeks and fined $800 on Monday (21 June).
Michael Hui @ Kuswara Mahmud, a Singaporean, was also banned from driving for a year upon his release from jail.
A TransCab taxi driver when the accident occurred in 2018, Hui had turned into a drop-off point at InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay when he encroached into the path of a 53-year-old Singapore permanent resident, and hit his right elbow.
Hui pleaded guilty to one count each of causing grievous hurt through a rash act and driving without due care or attention.
Argument led to collision
On 19 March 2018, the victim was walking out of the hotel and into the drop-off point when Hui’s taxi turned into the same area. The taxi, containing a couple and their young child, had cut into his path and its side mirror hit his right elbow.
The victim confronted Hui, who had stopped his taxi after the impact, and the pair began to argue, with the victim saying that he was going to take photos of the taxi and call the police. Hui retorted for him to go ahead.
As the permanent resident headed to the front of the taxi to take a photograph of its licence plate, Hui accelerated the vehicle towards him. The taxi’s bumper collided with his legs and he toppled forward over the car bonnet.
The incident was witnessed by at least 10 people, comprising of hotel staff and several bystanders who were waiting at the drop-off point. It was also captured by the hotel’s close-circuit television camera and Hui’s in-car camera.
According to the victim's medical report dated 22 March 2018, he suffered a right knee effusion and an abrasion over the right shin. An MRI of his knee also revealed a microfracture.
He was treated with medication and issued two months of medical leave, as he had difficulty walking and needed time to allow the bone to heal.
A subsequent medical report dated 27 February 2019 stated that the MRI of the victim’s right knee showed that apart from the fracture, there was cartilage damage which may be permanent. He was still going for physiotherapy almost a year after the incident.
Failed to plead guilty in a timely manner
The prosecution sought at least four weeks’ jail and an $800 fine for Hui, whom it said had caused public disquiet.
Hui had known that the victim was in front of his taxi and the inference was that he “wanted to collide with the victim”, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En.
Hui had also failed to plead guilty in a timely manner. He had requested for the case to be adjourned multiple times and only pleaded guilty more than two years after he had been charged in court.
For driving without due care, he could be jailed up to six months, and/or fined up to $1,000. For causing grievous hurt through a rash act, he could have been jailed up to four years, and/or fined up to $1,000.
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