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    Oct 21, 2014

    Two weeks of detention for punching cabby

    NOT only did he dirty the taxi by vomiting in it, but he then exited the vehicle and tried to walk away without paying the $16.97 fare.

    When cabby Poon Cher Ming tried to stop him, the drunken university student punched the taxi driver in the head several times, leaving him bloodied from a deep cut on his forehead.

    Yesterday, Zeng Zhuangyong, 25, received a short detention order of two weeks.

    The short detention order is one of the community sentencing options under the Criminal Procedure Code, aimed at giving more flexibility to the courts. It is less disruptive and stigmatising than jail.

    Zeng, then a student at Singapore Management University, pleaded guilty to hurting Mr Poon along Lorong 4 Toa Payoh on April 28 last year.

    The court heard that at around 3.20am that day, the cabby had twice grabbed hold of Zeng to stop him from leaving the scene without paying.

    Zeng responded with a punch both times - in the second instance, after promising he would pay - and tried to run off.

    Mr Poon then grabbed Zeng a third time and both men fell to the ground.

    After a short struggle, Zeng straddled the 54-year-old cabby as he lay on the ground and punched him repeatedly while swearing at him.

    Zeng, who was 23 at the time and has since graduated from SMU, later paid Mr Poon $5,000 in compensation.

    He could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000 for voluntarily hurting the cabby.