Norwegian and S’pore PR jailed 10 weeks for assaulting taxi driver


On 1 September last year, Norwegian and Singapore permanent resident Arne Corneliussen attacked a taxi driver in the wee hours of the morning.

He was eventually arrested and charged, and on Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to choking 46-year old Chan Chuan Heng.

Corneliussen was sentenced to 10 weeks jail for a “sustained and brutish” assault on Chan.

The court heard that on 22 September, Corneliussen had been drinking at Clarke Quay when he saw Chan’s taxi at about 1am.

As the Norwegian was about to board the cab, Chan said that he needed to use the toilet and would not be picking up any fares for the time being.

Corneliussen reacted to Chan’s remarks by slapping the latter.

Chan was upset and asked why the former had assaulted him.

Corneliussen then lunged forward, with Chan running away from him. The former gave chase but then stopped and returned to the cab to try and open the rear door of the taxi.

When Chan walked back to his cab, Corneliussen began chasing him again.

Chan then fell on the ground, and Corneliussen – who is 1.89m tall – pinned down the taxi driver and strangled Mr Chan for a good 15 seconds, the court heard.

Chan was out of breath because of the choke-hold.

Eventually, it took five passers-by to shove the bulky Corneliussen off the taxi driver’s back, while another cab driver called the police.

Chan had suffered a cut to his right arm, and had also sustained foot injuries.

Corneliussen, who was a former director of programme management with the DHL courier company, had had several pints of beer before the assault and was intoxicated, the deputy public prosecutor (DPP) told the court.

The DPP also told the court that Chan was a public transport worker and that he had the right to feel safe and to work in a safe environment.

Corneliussen had expressed remorse for his violent act and had paid Chan $30,000 in compensation.

However, judge Lim Tse Haw said, “There is no place in our society for such thuggish behaviour.”

Corneliussen could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing hurt.

He could now have his PR status revoked by the authorities as well.

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