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A Filipina was sentenced to five weeks’ jail on Wednesday (July 19) for assaulting a cabby, Chua Cheng Hwa, with a shoe after she vomited in his taxi and refused to pay the full fare.
The accused, 41-year-old Marie Antonette Buhain Llagas, a Singapore permanent resident, was also slapped with a S$500 fine for only paying part of the fare without any reasonable cause.
The Straits Times reports that on Dec 21, 2015, Llagas had boarded the cab along Mosque Street and requested to go to her block at Pasir Ris Drive 10.
However, upon reaching her destination, she only paid the 47-year-old taxi driver S$20 instead of the actual fare, which was S$24.90.
Chua noticed that Llagas reeked of alcohol when she boarded his cab, and even gave her a plastic bag for her to puke in should the need arise.
While Llagas did vomit into the bag during the journey, she dropped the bag later and ended up dirtying the seats and floor mat.
Chua told Llagas that he would have to send his car for cleaning and that it would affect his earnings that night.
Llagas offered Chua $50 in compensation and also offered to clean up his taxi.
Once they arrived at the block, Llagas simply alighted to meet her 48-year-old boyfriend without paying Chua.
When Chua chased after her for the payment, Llamas changed her mind about the compensation and said that she would only pay the taxi fare and clean the taxi herself.
The trio headed up to her apartment on the 15th floor to retrieve cleaning equipment for the task.
While Llagas went into her flat to take the equipment, her boyfriend and Chua went back downstairs to wait for her.
She subsequently showed up downstairs at 12.27am, the cleaning equipment nowhere in sight.
Llagas then passed Chua two S$10 notes, before walking off with her boyfriend.
Chua gave chase to the couple, and boarded the lift with them.
CCTV footage revealed that Chua had confronted Llagas, asking for the remaining S$4.90, which she refused to fork out.
When Chua attempted to take a photo of her with his phone, she swung her hand at his phone, causing it to fall on the floor.
She then hit him repeatedly.
When the trio came out of the lift, Llagas removed her shoe and used it to hit Chua.
A passer-by intervened, using his body to shield Chua from the blows.
He later testified, saying that although he had advised Llagas not to pursue Chua, she chose to disregard his advice.
Another witness finally got her to stop and put on her shoes.
District Judge Eugene Teo took into account that the accused had expressed her remorse and apologised for her actions.
Moreover, the victim did not suffer serious injuries.
However, he ruled that Llaga’s lawyer Sarbrinder Singh's plead of a fine or light imprisonment term was ‘completely unrealistic’ for the 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.’
The accused could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to S$5,000 for causing hurt, and another S$1,000 for the second charge.