Drunk passenger who hit SBS Transit bus driver 11 times gets jail

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
October 5, 2020

A drunken passenger on a public bus flew into a rage and attacked the driver who had told him to stop banging against the handrails.

Seng Oh Kwang hit Mr Thavamani Krishnan 11 times on board SBS bus service 186 between 11.50pm and 11.55pm on Aug 16 last year.

The 69-year-old Singaporean was sentenced on Monday (Oct 5) to six weeks' jail after pleading guilty to one count each of assault and public drunkenness.

On the day of the incident, Seng met some friends for a drinking session at an Upper Cross Street coffee shop at around 7pm, and he downed more than six bottles of beer.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kor Zhen Hong said Seng was "heavily intoxicated" by the time he left the eatery sometime before 11pm.

He boarded the double decker bus at around 11.15pm and about 25 minutes later, Mr Thavamani, 70, heard banging noises as he was driving the bus along Farrer Road.

The driver stopped the bus, conducted a check and saw that Seng was using his hands to bang against the handrails.

Seng was unhappy when the driver told him to stop his actions.

The DPP said: "Subsequently, from around 11.42pm to around 11.55pm, the accused periodically confronted the victim, and on numerous occasions, grabbed the victim's shirt, and hit the victim on his face."

The police were alerted and Mr Thavamani locked the bus doors while waiting for officers to arrive.

A closed-circuit television footage of the attack showed Seng repeatedly grabbing the driver's shirt and striking his head multiple times.

Mr Thavamani could not continue driving the bus that evening due to the attack and some passengers remained on the upper deck to avoid Seng.

Mr Thavamani was later taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he was found with injuries, including bleeding from a blood vessel over the whites of his right eye.

He was discharged the next day and placed on medical leave for three days.

Seng's bail was set at $5,000 on Monday and he will surrender himself at the State Courts on Oct 14 to begin his jail term.

For assault, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

The Straits Times

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