Swedish National Sentenced To 12 Weeks Jail For Hurting Taxi Driver After Refusing To Pay Cab Fare

Swedish national Blomqvist Andreas Michel, 29, was sentenced to 12 weeks’ jail for voluntarily causing hurt to a taxi driver after refusing to pay for his journey.

Before District Judge Imran Hamid at the State Courts Tuesday (Jun 2), Blomqvist admitted to his offence but he was given a lighter sentence than the one suggested by the prosecution due to evidence indicating his good character.

On Sep 20, 2014, the accused had boarded a taxi at around 1.20am headed for Ang Mo Kio Avenue 2. Upon arrival, Blomqvist declined to pay for the fare incurred during the ride.

Blomqvist soon left the taxi and the driver, 60-year-old Mr Koh Tat Wah, gave chase, demanding payment.

An eyewitness said in submissions before the court that although Blomqvist had asked the taxi driver to call the police and said he was going up to his residence to rest, Mr Koh wanted Blomqvist to wait at the ground floor for the police to arrive. Mr Koh blocked Blomqvist’s path, and the accused began throwing punches on the victim’s face before passers-by intervened.

A medical submission by physician Dr Kattan Amrita at Clementi Polyclinic noted that the victim had bruising and swelling around his left eye. Dr Amrita prescribed medication to Mr Koh but did not issue a medical certificate as the victim was self-employed.

In his mitigation, Blomqvist said he tried to walk away from the victim and only decided to hit him as a right of self-defence. However, the prosecution submitted that Blomqvist was the aggressor in the fight, no offence affecting a human body was committed and he had ample time and opportunity to seek the protection of public authorities.

Blomqvist stated in further mitigation that he does volunteer work, regularly donates blood and is a registered member in Singapore’s bone marrow donor registry. He also wrote a letter of apology to the victim offering to settle the full taxi fare, paying all medical costs borne by the victim and giving some form of compensation.

The prosecution had suggested an imprisonment term of four to six months. However, Blomqvist said previous sentences for voluntarily causing hurt had a lesser jail term despite the victim suffering more serious injuries.

Blomqvist will begin his prison sentence on Jun 5, as he requested for time to make arrangements at work and home. His bail has been extended until then.


Source: www.channelnewsasia.com

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