Drunken retiree attacked SBS driver as passengers hid
He gets six weeks' jail after raining blows on elderly bus driver
After drinking at least six bottles of beer, he attacked the elderly SBS Transit bus driver, raining blows on his victim as terrified passengers hid on the upper deck.
Yesterday, Seng Oh Kwang, 69, a retiree, was jailed for six weeks for assaulting the bus driver while drunk.
At about 7pm on Aug 16 last year, Seng got together with friends at a coffee shop in Upper Cross Street and drank more than six bottles of beer.
He boarded a service 186 bus at about 11.15pm while heavily intoxicated.
At about 11.40pm, while the bus was on Farrer Road, the 70-year-old driver heard Seng hitting the handrails and told him to stop.
Upset, Seng confronted the driver who locked the bus doors while waiting for the police.
For the next 15 minutes, Seng rained blows on the driver till he was crouched over the steering wheel clutching his face.
Security camera footage played in court yesterday showed Seng slapping and hitting the driver in the face, head and back of the head 11 times.
Seng also grabbed the driver's collar and yanked him around several times, as the elderly victim struggled to avoid getting hit.
The court was told some passengers hid on the upper deck during this time to avoid Seng.
None of them appeared to intervene, in the footage played.
After the police and paramedics arrived, the bus driver was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and found to have suffered injuries to his right eye and the left side of his face.
He was discharged on the same day and given three days' medical leave.
Yesterday, Seng told the court that on the night of the incident, he had just finished 100 days of prayer for his dead mother and thus went to drink away his sorrows.
He pleaded for leniency and asked for a deferment of sentence so he could celebrate his granddaughter's birthday next week.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kor Zhen Hong said that while he noted Seng's stresses and mitigation, the attack was a vicious and sustained one against an elderly public worker.
He added that Seng had been convicted in 2004 for drink driving.
District Judge May Mesenas allowed a short deferment of sentence for Seng and said he needed to deal with his underlying grief and alcohol issues.
Seng is out on $5,000 bail and is expected to surrender himself to begin serving his sentence on Oct 14.
For voluntarily causing hurt, he could have been jailed for up to three years, or fined up to $5,000, or both.
For drunkenness in a public place, he could have been jailed for up to six months, or fined up to $1,000, or both.