Law prof withdraws offer to compensate cabby victim
The assistant law professor had initially offered to pay compensation to a cabby for assaulting him.
But he withdrew the offer yesterday after he was berated by a judge.
National University of Singapore law professor Sundram Peter Soosay, 43, was eventually sentenced yesterday to four months' jail and ordered to pay $1,500 compensation to the cabby.
Soosay had been found guilty last month of assaulting Mr Sun Chun Hua, 70, in the wee hours of Christmas Day in 2013.
Earlier during yesterday's hearing, Soosay had indicated he was willing to offer Mr Sun compensation.
But when District Judge Victor Yeo chided him and his lawyer for not settling the issue earlier so Mr Sun could consent to the compensation, Soosay withdrew his offer.
During sentencing, Judge Yeo said that violence against transport workers cannot be tolerated because while they provide an essential service to the public, they deserve to work in a safe and secure environment.
He highlighted that Soosay had attacked Mr Sun at about 5am, when there was little foot traffic and the taxi driver would be at his most vulnerable.
"I did not sense any remorse (in you), and you have a lackadaisical attitude towards compensation," the judge said.
The court had earlier heard that an intoxicated Soosay boarded Mr Sun's taxi after a party.
He vomited in Mr Sun's taxi and got off the cab near King Albert Park in Clementi Road, where he walked away without paying.
When the cabby chased him, Soosay handed him $50.
But after the cabby turned his back and headed towards his taxi to retrieve change, Soosay attacked Mr Sun from behind.
He jumped on the older man's back, knocked him to the ground and hit him several times in the face and head.
Soosay stopped only when a passer-by went to the cabby's assistance.
Calling Mr Sun a victim of gratuitous violence, Judge Yeo noted that the cabby could not work for 17 days.
Referring to the cabby's testimony, Judge Yeo said the cabby had never seen anything like that in his 20 years as a driver, and that he has stopped picking up drunk passengers.
Soosay offered no mitigation before sentencing. He will be appealing his sentence and has been released on $20,000 bail.
The $1,500 compensation will still have to be paid to Mr Sun by July 15.