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Driver with past road rage conviction jailed again for punching taxi driver who took parking lot he wanted

SINGAPORE — When Raymond Chng saw a taxi driver reversing into a parking space at Whampoa Food Centre that he wanted for his own car, he flew into a rage and went over to the taxi, verbally abusing the other man for “snatching” the lot.

Raymond Chng at the State Courts on March 17, 2022.

Raymond Chng at the State Courts on March 17, 2022.

  • Raymond Chng, 38, was convicted of voluntarily causing hurt to a taxi driver by punching him repeatedly
  • The taxi driver had apparently taken a parking lot that Chng wanted for his own vehicle
  • Chng, who has a previous conviction for road rage, was jailed for nine weeks
  • Upon his release, he will be banned from driving for 12 months

SINGAPORE — When Raymond Chng saw a taxi driver reversing into a parking space at Whampoa Food Centre that he wanted for his own car, he flew into a rage and went over to the taxi, verbally abusing the other man for “snatching” the lot.

Chng then turned violent and repeatedly punched the taxi driver, who was still in his vehicle, before they scuffled at the driver’s side door. The attack happened on the afternoon of March 14 in 2019.

However, this was not Chng's first instance of road rage. Several years ago, he had confronted a motorist whose car had hit his vehicle’s right-side mirror while leaving a car park. He then punched and kicked the victim.

For his latest offence, Chng was on Thursday (March 17) sentenced to nine weeks’ jail and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for 12 months upon his release.

He will start serving his jail term on April 29. In the meantime, he is on S$5,000 bail.

The 38-year-old Singaporean was convicted after claiming trial to a single charge of voluntarily causing hurt to the taxi driver, Mr Tan Cheng Lye, 55.

CHNG WAS AGGRESSOR: JUDGE

On Thursday, Chng — who did not have a lawyer — repeatedly insisted in court that Mr Tan had punched him first and that he had approached the taxi driver to try to talk to him.

Principal District Judge Toh Han Li countered that he had already found Chng to be the main aggressor who threw the first punch. However, Chng repeated that he was telling the truth and it was “very unlucky” that no one had witnessed the incident.

None of the cars around the area had captured in-car camera footage of the incident as well.

That afternoon, Chng was apparently waiting for a parking lot and he believed that Mr Tan took it. He testified to being tired and hungry at the time, having taken his wife and newborn daughter from the hospital back home without having his lunch.

After Mr Tan reversed his taxi into the parking lot in the open-air car park, Chng alighted from his car, stood in front of the taxi and aggressively scolded and hurled Hokkien vulgarities at Mr Tan.

In response, the taxi driver pointed his index finger at Chng and asked him to stop verbally abusing him.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Ong told the court: “This only fuelled the accused’s anger towards the victim.

"Regarding the victim’s actions as a slight against him, the accused initiated the first act of violence against the victim by rushing to the victim’s door, violently pushing his index finger away and punching the victim’s face.”

Chng punched Mr Tan repeatedly for 10 to 20 seconds and the taxi driver waved his arms around to defend himself, which a passer-by witnessed.

It was only when Mr Tan picked up his mobile phone in a bid to call the police that Chng stopped his assault. The taxi driver ended up sustaining abrasions and bruising.

In his mitigation plea on Thursday, Chng pleaded not to be jailed or receive a driving ban, saying he is the sole breadwinner of his family.

"I have learned my lesson. I will change and control myself in the future and I will definitely not repeat such a silly mistake again," he added.

District Judge Toh repeated that he had found Chng to be the aggressor and that he had a previous conviction for road rage.

In 2015, Chng was jailed four weeks for punching and kicking the motorist in the earlier incident.

For voluntarily causing hurt, he could have been jailed for up to two years or fined up to S$5,000, or both.

Related topics

court crime taxi driver assault road rage parking lot

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