Katong traffic spat: Rider begins jail sentence



James Palin, the British biker who smashed the window of another in the Katong traffic brawl, has withdrawn his appeal against conviction and began his jail term on Nov 7.

Palin, 33, a former regional director of a recruitment firm, punched the window of a Volkswagen car in Tanjong Katong Road in November last year, shattering the glass, which cut the couple inside.

The dispute began when Palin hit the bumper of the car driven by Chiang Pak Chien, 43, as he was overtaking him. Mr. Chiang then overtook Palin. The Brit then sped past him again and braked immediately in front of the car. Mr. Chiang braked to avoid crashing into the motorcycle.

What followed was the subject of internet sensation: Palin walked over to Chiang and punched his car window, causing it to shatter.

Broken glass left cuts on both Chiang and his wife, Valerie Tan, 42.

District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim said “those persons who resort to violence because they were unhappy with other road users who cross their path must bear the full brunt of the law”.

Palin’s rash reaction in punching the car window and endangering those in the vehicle was excessive, added the judge.

The Public Prosecutor pressed for more than three weeks’ jail while Palin’s lawyer, Shashi Nathan, urged that a fine be imposed instead as Palin was genuinely remorseful and a first-time offender.



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