Kiwi jailed in Singapore for drunken attack on taxi driver who missed a turn

Singapore. Photo credit: Getty

A New Zealander has been imprisoned in Singapore after drunkenly assaulting a taxi driver who missed a turn while driving him home and accidentally dropped his credit card.

Eugene Gerrard Buckley, 59, pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of voluntarily causing grievous hurt, The Straits Times reports. He was sentenced to 30 weeks behind bars. The sentence was backdated to November last year, when Buckley was remanded.

According to the outlet, the 59-year-old visited two bars on February 26, 2020, including The Drunken Poet, a pub at Orchard Towers. He then took a taxi home, but became angered when the 60-year-old driver, Tan Heng Choon, missed a turn. 

Buckley ordered the driver to stop and told him he wanted to pay. When Tan dropped the credit card, prosecutors allege the drunk New Zealander flew into a rage and began to repeatedly punch the driver. Tan reportedly suffered a chipped tooth and broken nose in the attack, and had to signal to another driver for help as Buckley threatened him again on the pavement. 

Defence lawyer Andre Jumabhoy argued that Buckley had been stressed and anxious due to his separation from his partner, who was unable to enter Singapore due to border closures.

According to The Straits Times, Buckley has paid roughly NZ$210 in restitution for Tan's medical expenses.