Man jailed for punching cabby in the nose

A man who punched a taxi driver was jailed for four weeks on Tuesday (Aug 15).

Swiss national and former commodities trader Yannick Alexandre Varidel, 28, pleaded guilty to causing hurt to Trans-Cab driver Ng Hong Poh, 53.

The incident happened at the driveway of Studio M Hotel in Nanson Road, off Mohamed Sultan Road, at about 1.10am on March 18 (2017).

Mr Ng had picked up Varidel and his friend, Russian Irina Chilikova, 21, from OUE Tower at Fullerton Bay at about 1am that day.

Before the two of them got into the cab, Mr Ng told them that he could accept only cash payments as he did not have an ATM point-of-sale terminal in his taxi.

Ms Chilikova said she had enough cash for the cab fare.

When they arrived at Studio M Hotel, an argument broke out between Ms Chilikova and Varidel.

Varidel then insisted on paying the fare with his ATM card, and handed the card to Mr Ng.

Mr Ng again told them that he could take only cash payments.

When Mr Ng was returning the ATM card to Varidel, he accidentally dropped it.

Varidel reacted by punching him on the nose.

The cabby called the police, and later went to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. He was found to have tenderness on the bridge of his nose and upper lip.

In mitigation, Varidel's lawyer Megan Chia Ru Yun said her client did not intend to cause serious harm to the victim. She said Varidel was apologetic and remorseful. She added that it was a one-off offence.

Varidel could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt.

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