Road spat left motorcyclist with permanent double vision, taxi driver jailed

·Senior Content Producer
Getty Images file photo
Getty Images file photo

A taxi driver who was embroiled in a road rage incident punched a motorcyclist so severely that it left him with a permanent eye injury.

Mohamed Said Salim, 42, was jailed six months after he pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt in the State Courts on Wednesday (24 January). A second charge of voluntarily causing hurt was taken into consideration.

The court heard that on 28 December last year, Mohamed was driving his taxi out of a car park at Pasir Ris Street 11. At the same time, Elfie Adam Tay, 28, was driving a motorcycle into the car park. His brother Erwin Adam Tay was riding pillion.

Mohamed made a wide turn and encroached on Elfie’s lane, forcing the latter to steer his motorcycle towards the left of his lane to avoid a collision.

Upset with Mohamad’s driving, Elfie said, “Sia lah, don’t know how to drive is it?” Elfie then drove into the car park and parked his motorcycle.

When Mohamed heard Elfie’s words, he reversed his vehicle into the car park and confronted the brothers who were at a void deck of an HDB block.

A dispute broke out and Mohamed punched Elfie on the right eye, causing him to fall to the floor. When Erwin tried to intervene, Mohamed punched him on his lips and jaw. He then got into his taxi and drove off.

Elfie was admitted to Changi General Hospital and later transferred to the Singapore National Eye Centre due to the severity of his injury. He underwent surgery after sustaining a right eye socket fracture.

Mohamed was traced through his vehicle registration number and arrested on 3 January this year.

The road rage incident left the victim with a serious eye injury that caused him to have double vision until today, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Mark Yeo, who asked for a jail term of at least six months.

Mohamed’s lawyer, Rajan Supramaniam, said the victim was unfortunately hit in a vulnerable part of the body. Asking for a jail term of four months, Rajan said that Mohamed had compensated the victim voluntarily and was a first-time offender.

Addressing the court, Mohamed expressed remorse and pleaded for leniency. While not denying the seriousness of the offence, he said that he wanted to serve his sentence as soon as possible and go back to his family because his parents-in-law were in poor health.

District Judge Soh Tze Bian agreed with the prosecution and sentenced Mohamed to six months’ jail.

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

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