A Filipina who soiled a taxi with her vomit before beating the driver with her shoe was jailed 5 weeks yesterday in court.
Marie Antonette Buhain Llagas, 41, had flagged down a taxi along Mosque Street on 20 December 2015. The driver Chua Cheng Hwa, 47, picked her up and noticed that she reeked of alcohol.
He handed her a plastic bag, which she used to puke in the back seat of his cab. After traveling halfway, Llagas dropped the bag and Mr Chua stopped his taxi to check on the condition of his backseat. He noticed vomit stains at the back and a stink. He complained that he would lose his earnings for the night because he had to send his taxi for cleaning, after which Llagas volunteered to give him $50 for his trouble and to help him clean up the cab. Mr Chua agreed and they continued on their journey.
When Mr Chua and Llagas reached their destination, Llagas’ 48 year-old boyfriend was waiting for her. They arrived, but Llagas did not give Mr Chua his fare or his $50 as promised, she tried to escape with her boyfriend.
Mr Chua chased after both of them and confronted them. Llagas now said she would not pay him the $50 but only the taxi fare and would help him clean up. She lied that she would go up and get some cleaning equipment while her boyfriend and the taxi driver stayed below the block.
She later returned at 12.27AM without any equipment and threw 2 $10 notes at Mr Chua. She then walked away hastily with her boyfriend to the lift lobby, leading Mr Chua to chase the couple because she had renegaded on her promise.
When he caught up with the couple, all three of them entered the same lift. Mr Chua continued to question Llagas why she would not pay her proper fare, but she continued to refuse.
Mr Chua took a photograph of Llagas, but the woman reacted by slapping the phone out of Mr Chua’s hand. She then hit him.
When coming out of the lift at the void deck, Llagas removed her shoe and used it to hit Mr Chua a few times. A passerby intervened and tried to stop Llagas from hitting Mr Chua, but Llagas continued to chase and try to hit Mr Chua. Another witness finally managed to stop Llagas and persuade her to put on her shoes.
On passing his sentence, District Judge Eugene Teo said that he took into account the non-seriousness of the injuries suffered by the taxi driver, and Llagas was remorseful and offered an apology.
“From the cases, it ought to become clear that it really does not matter who you are, local or foreign, rich or poor, have family to support or not, because if you behave this way, you can expect to receive an appropriately stiff sentence even if you are a first offender,” said Judge Teo.
Llagas could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt. For the second charge, the maximum penalty is a $1,000 fine.