After nearly colliding with a car on the road and being horned at, an angry motorist who later saw the same car in a carpark took a metal piece and scratched its bumper in revenge.
Jonathan Damian Poh Eng Wan, 55, a human resource executive who runs his own consulting firm, was fined $4,800 on Wednesday (15 November) on one count of committing mischief after he scratched Leong Liang Hee’s black Honda following a road rage incident earlier this year.
Investigations showed that on 31 January this year, around 10.21am, both Leong and Poh were driving along Moulmein Road in the middle lane before the incident occurred. Poh was in a black Peugeot in front of Leong, who was in his Honda.
After passing the junction of Moulmein Road and Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Leong moved to the adjacent lane on the right. At the same time, Poh also changed lanes and cut in front of Leong’s car, causing both their vehicles to nearly collide. Leong horned at Poh’s car a few times before slowing down to allow Poh to move ahead of him into the same lane.
After the incident, both drivers went their separate ways. Leong went to the Square 2 mall where he parked his car at level 6 of the carpark while Poh dropped his wife off at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
Sometime after 10.31am, Poh drove to Square 2 and parked his car on the same level, and while doing so, he saw Leong’s car. Poh, who recalled the earlier honking incident, decided to scratch Leong’s car in revenge as he was angry and upset over the incident, said Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP) Andrew Low.
Poh loitered near the Honda for a while before walking to its rear. He then squatted down and used a piece of metal to scratch across the rear bumper of the car, which resulted in a long white scratch on it. Poh then went to have lunch with his family and threw the metal piece away.
The scratching incident was caught by the Honda’s in-car camera. Poh’s car registration number was also captured by the camera when he drove past the Honda. Leong found the damage when he returned to the Honda. He retrieved the footage from the in-car camera and made a police report the next day.
Poh was subsequently identified and arrested. The damage caused to the rear bumper of the Honda cost $820, which Poh has paid Leong in compensation.
T M Sinnadurai, Poh’s lawyer, asked for a minimum fine, saying that his client was remorseful for his actions. He said that Poh, who has four children, is the sole breadwinner of his family.
Sinnadurai added that Poh had offered compensation to Leong and apologised even before he was charged in court. Poh wanted to give an additional $1,000 as compensation for the offence but this was declined by Leong.
District Judge Soh Tze Bian told Poh that his actions were not befitting of his age and that he had been “rash”.
For committing mischief that caused loss or damage of at least $500, Poh could have been jailed up to two years and or/fined.