Kiwi jailed in Singapore after drunken attack on taxi driver

A New Zealander has been jailed in Singapore after reportedly bashing a taxi driver who missed a turn-off and dropped his credit card.

The Straits Times said Eugene Gerrard Buckley, 59, pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of voluntarily causing grievous hurt and was sentenced to 30 weeks’ jail.

But the sentence was backdated to November 2020, when he was remanded.

Local media said Buckley went to The Drunken Poet, a pub at Orchard Towers, one February evening last year and drank beer.

After visiting another bar, he entered 60-year-old driver Tan Heng Choon’s taxi, The Straits Times added.

Tan reportedly missed a turn and Buckley became annoyed before telling the driver to stop in Dalvey Rd, saying he wanted to pay up.

Prosecutors alleged Buckley handed Tan his credit card but the driver dropped it, angering Buckley who then started throwing punches at Tan.

“A bloodied Mr Tan managed to get out of the taxi and Buckley then tried to offer him some money as compensation,” The Straits Times reported.

But Tan wanted to call police.

Today Online said Buckley had already compensated Tan for medical expenses, made no excuse for his acts and was grateful that Tan was not significantly hurt.

Buckley erroneously believed the taxi driver threw his card during the incident at 3am on February 27, Today Online added.

Defence lawyer Andre Jumabhoy reportedly said Buckley was stressed and had experienced some breathing difficulties that caused him to panic slightly.

Jumabhoy said his client was anxious about his future and separated from his partner, who couldn’t enter Singapore because borders were shut during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Consular assistance has been offered to Mr Buckley by the New Zealand High Commission in Singapore,” a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said.

The ministry would not comment further, citing privacy reasons.


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