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15 months probation for Television host Quan Yifeng - 29Dec2011

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Uploaded on Dec 29, 2011

SINGAPORE: Television host Quan Yifeng was sentenced to 15 months probation on Thursday for damaging a taxi meter and the receipt printer of a cabbie last year.

She was also ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment and attend counselling and therapy sessions for emotional management.

District Judge Low Wee Ping accepted her earlier mitigation plea which included severe clinical depression, anxiety and sleep problems.

He emphasised that he "was not condoning what she had done, but only because of her strong mitigation factors, particularly her medical history."

When Quan pleaded guilty last month, Mr Low had said the court "seldom calls for a probation report for offenders who are more than 20 years old except under exceptional circumstances."

Two other charges - of kicking the right passenger door of the taxi and pushing and attempting to kick the 53-year-old cabbie - were also taken into consideration.

The clash with cabbie, Mr Chan Swee Kong, took place in June last year at the junction of Upper East Coast Road and Bedok South Avenue 1.

Quan's lawyer, Mr Subhas Anandan, had said the cabbie refused to help Quan with her luggage.

A subsequent disagreement also arose over directions to the airport, where Quan and her daughter were heading to in the taxi.

Mr Subhas said the cabbie did not take the criticism too well and slammed the emergency brakes, causing Quan's daughter to hit her forehead after being flung forward.

A scuffle broke out between Quan and the cabbie, and her lawyer said the final straw was when the taxi driver insinuated that "Quan's daughter's distress had to do with not having a father."

Mr Subhas said: "She had post-natal depression after birth which was not detected at that time. And subsequently, she had to have treatment because she found that it is not easy to bring up a child alone.

"Because she has no husband, she is divorced. (That) added on a lot of stress to her, which is expected.

"So sometimes she can just lose it, and people provoke her, like the taxi driver did."

In court on Thursday, Mr Low again stressed that "the background does not justify what Quan did, which was to commit mischief and criminal force".

He said there should be "a reasonable time for rehabilitation" to ensure that Quan maintains good behaviour and shows "a willingness to make amends".

Quan, who looked sombre in a black long-sleeved shirt, will also not be allowed to leave Singapore without prior approval which she has to seek at least a week before the trip.

Her grand-aunt, who turned up in court with her, has to post a bond of S$3,000 to ensure Quan's good behaviour.

Mr Low also warned Quan that she would be hauled back to court and may have her bond forfeited if she commits future offences.

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