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17 days’ jail for man who hurled racial slurs, vulgarities at taxi driver while drunk

Cheers! To poor decisions, and 17 days self-reflection time.

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Singapore — A drunk man who verbally abused a cabby because he thought the driver took a longer route to get to where he wanted to go was sentenced to one week and ten days jail on Thursday (Aug 26).

Forty-eight-year-old Sahayanathan Anthony pleaded guilty to two counts of harassment for an incident that occurred on Oct 30 of last year.

Sahayanathan, a Singaporean, admitted to being drunk in a public place and causing annoyance to his taxi driver.

He had hurled vulgarities and racially charged insults to 66-year-old taxi driver Mr Tan Take Hok.

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Shortly before 7:00 pm on the night of the incident, Sahayanathan and his wife took a ride in Mr Tan’s cab at Toh Guan Road near Jurong East Central, asking the cabby to bring them to Plaza Singapura shopping mall in Orchard Road, according to The Straits Times (ST).

However, Sahayanathan grew agitated while on the ride, as he believed Mr Tan was taking a longer route to Plaza Singapura, and began to shower vulgarities upon him.

Furthermore, when the couple arrived at Plaza Singapura, Sahayanathan refused to pay the fare of $17.80, ST quotes State Prosecuting Officer M. Mariyappan as saying.

“The accused informed the complainant that he was rushing to purchase a handphone inside the mall and would come back later to pay the taxi driver once he was done… The accused and his wife then alighted from the taxi.

The complainant did not agree to the arrangement, as he had concerns that the accused might not come back to settle his taxi fare,” Mr Mariyappan added.

At that point, the taxi driver alerted the police and went into the mall to follow Sahayanathan and his wife.

When the police reached Plaza Singapura at 7:45 pm, they saw that Sahayanathan was drunk.

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At their arrival, Sahayanathan was shouting at the taxi driver, and so the police separated the two men.

“Whilst the police officers were trying to find out the facts and calm down the accused, (Sahayanathan) kept shouting, ‘I want to punch him’ and charged towards the complainant. The accused was stopped by the police officers, who restrained him,” the State Prosecuting Officer said.

During the court proceedings, the court learned that Sahayanathan has at least one prior incident of shouting an obscenity at an officer from Certis Cisco, which occurred on Feb 28 of this year at Singapore General Hospital. /TISG

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