Filipina in Singapore Jailed For Hitting Cab Driver

A Filipina who was drunk and vomited a taxi she rode in Singapore was sentenced to five weeks in jail on Wednesday for hitting the driver with her shoe, according to Straits Times.

Marie Antonette Buhain Llagas, 41, who was employed at sales at during the incident on December 21, 2015, was also fined S$500 (P18,575) for paying taxi driver Chua Cheng Hwa, 47, only part of the taxi fare without reasonable excuse. She paid him S$20 when the actual fare was S$24.90. The incident appened at the ground floor of a block of flats at Pasir Ris Drive 10.

Prosecutor Joshua Rene Jeyaraj told a local court that when Llagas boarded his cab, Chua observed she was reeking of alcohol. He then passed a plastic bag to her in case she needed to vomit which she did during the journey. At one point when Llagas dropped the bag of vomit, Chua pulled over to check the situation.

When he saw vomit stains on the rear passenger seats and on the floor mat, Chua told her that he needed to send his taxi for cleaning, and that it would affect his earnings for the night. Llagas voluntarily offered to pay S$50 as compensation, and to clean up the stains. Mr Chua agreed and proceeded with the journey to Pasir Ris.

Upon arrival at the destination, Llagas alighted but did not hand over the S$50 pledge, nor the taxi fare of S$24.90. Instead she walked away with her boyfriend who was waiting for her.

Chua then went after the duo and Llagas refused to pay the cash promise as cleaning compensation but offered to clean up the taxi. Chua agreed and followed the couple into the lift to collect the cleaning equipment.

At almost half past midnight, Llagas went down but did not bring any cleaning equipment. She passed two S$10 bills and walked off hastily with her boyfriend to the lift lobby. After picking up the money, Chua went after Llagas and got into the lift with the couple.

Security footage obtained from the lift showed that Chua asking Llagas for not paying the S$4.90 taxi bill. When Mr Chua tried to take a picture of her with his mobile phone, Llagas swung her hand at his phone, causing the device to fall onto the floor. She then hit him.

After coming out of the lift, Llagas removed her shoe and used it to hit the driver a few times.

Passersby managed to restore order and persuaded Llagas from hitting Chua further.

In passing sentence, District Judge Eugene Teo took into account that the taxi driver did not suffer any serious injury and that Llagas was remorseful and tendered her apology.

He added that defense lawyer Sarbrinder Singh’s plea that Llagas be given a fine or a light imprisonment term was “completely unrealistic” for such an offence.

“From the cases, it ought to become clear that it really does not matter who you are, local or foreign, rich or poor, have family to support or not, because if you behave this way, you can expect to receive an appropriately stiff sentence even if you are a first offender,” said Judge Teo.

Llagas could have been sentenced to prison for up to two years and/or fined S$5,000 for causing hurt.

Llagas could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt. For the second charge, the maximum penalty is a $1,000 fine.



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