Briton gets jail in road rage case
A MOTORCYCLIST who punched and shattered the window of a car in a road rage incident on Nov 16 was sentenced to three weeks' jail yesterday.
But Briton James George Palin, 33, is appealing and is out on $15,000 bail.
The former regional director of a recruitment company had been riding his motorcycle in Tanjong Katong Road when he hit the bumper of the car driven by legal officer Chiang Pak Chien while overtaking him.
Mr Chiang, 43, who was with his then girlfriend Valerie Tan Hsu Phen, 42, overtook Palin, who had not stopped after hitting their car.
Then Palin sped past Mr Chiang again and braked immediately in front of the car.
Mr Chiang slammed on his brakes to avoid crashing into the bike and told his girlfriend to call the police. That was when Palin walked to the driver's side and punched the glass, which shattered over the couple and cut them. Ms Tan screamed and Palin fled on his bike.
Both Mr Chiang and Ms Tan, who are now married, suffered cuts on their body, face, neck, arms and legs, and were given a week's outpatient leave.
Ms Tan, who saw a psychiatrist, was diagnosed with acute stress disorder with severe anxiety. She avoids the stretch of road where the incident happened, and gets anxious and has palpitations when she sees "aggressive-looking" motorcyclists, according to a psychiatric report.
Palin's lawyer, Shashi Nathan, said his client claimed that the car had bumped into his motorcycle.
Palin regretted what he had done, and had offered to pay for the couple's medical expenses and for the damage to the car, an offer which they turned down.
District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim said Palin's reaction was excessive and totally disproportionate, and agreed with the prosecution that there should be a jail term.
Palin could have been jailed for up to one year and fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt by doing a rash act to endanger the personal safety of others.