Cabby tips over man in wheelchair
Driver angry at disabled man for calling LTA on illegally parked taxi
He forcefully tipped a disabled man out of a wheelchair after the latter informed the authorities about his parking offence.
Mr Ng Eng Gee, 51, was then left lying on the ground for about 10 minutes before police officers arrived to help him.
Former cabby Jit Singh, 60, was yesterday jailed for two weeks and ordered to pay Mr Ng $500 in compensation after pleading guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt.
Mr Ng was having breakfast at Tan Ee Keu Kopi coffee shop at Upper Aljunied Road at around 6.30am on Dec 24, 2012, when he spotted Singh's white Mercedes taxi illegally parked at the eatery's driveway and obstructing it.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Vadi PVSS said: "As a Good Samaritan, (Mr Ng) called the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to report the (incident)."
An LTA enforcement officer arrived at the scene and issued a summons on Singh's vehicle.
Singh found out that Mr Ng, who has cerebral palsy, had informed the LTA.
Mr Ng knew this too, and fearing for his safety, he phoned the police at 7.04am, saying: "A taxi driver... wants to attack me."
Singh drove off shortly after this and Mr Ng was making his way home at around 7.15am when the cabby pulled up alongside.
He got out of his vehicle and angrily rushed towards Mr Ng, who tried to get away by accelerating his motorised wheelchair.
But Singh easily caught up with him, caught hold of the wheelchair and tipped it over, causing Mr Ng to tumble to the ground.
He suffered abrasions to his left wrist and his wheelchair also sustained some damage.
The cabby fled the scene and the police arrived at around 7.30am to find Mr Ng still lying on the ground.
Paramedics also turned up but Mr Ng refused to be taken to the hospital.
Singh's lawyer, Mr Ong Peng Boon, said that his client was under stress when he committed the offence as his father was in hospital at that time. He added that Singh also apologised sincerely to Mr Ng for the "silly mistake".
But DPP Vadi stressed that violence against vulnerable victims should be treated more harshly as such individuals need protection.
This was an "affront to humane behaviour" and must not be condoned by the law, he said.
Agreeing, District Judge Lim Tse Haw said that what Singh did was "reprehensible".
And even though he had earlier paid $100 to Mr Ng as compensation, the judge said that the amount was inadequate.
Judge Lim then increased it to $500 and said that a deterrent message should be sent to show that the court does not condone offences against the disabled.
For assaulting Mr Ng, Singh could have been jailed up to two years and fined up to $5,000.