Singapore

Jail and caning for drug addict who stole car, then crashed it

An unemployed drug addict spotted a car at a taxi stand and shouted for the owner to hand over the key.

When the car owner stayed silent, Indra Haiqal Azman Ali took out a knife and continued shouting at Mr Vikesh Ram Tamil Arasan.

When Mr Vikesh, 30, failed to hand over the key, Indra, 27, pointed the knife at his target.

He drove off after Mr Vikesh handed him the key, with the victim and his friends giving chase in a taxi.

LOST CONTROL

Indra, who had no driving licence, then drove at 80kmh to 121kmh, above the speed limit of 50kmh.

He lost control of the car while negotiating a bend at high speed, and suffered fractures after the car skidded and landed on its side.

Indra had earlier stolen two drinks from a minimart before the carjacking.

All the offences took place around 1am on May 8.

Yesterday, District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim sentenced Indra to three years and two weeks in jail and 12 strokes of the cane, and banned him from driving for a year.

Indra pleaded guilty to five of six charges - robbery, driving without a licence and insurance coverage, dangerous driving and theft of two drinks.

He fractured his ribs and spine when he lost control of the car in Jurong West Street 24, but managed to crawl out of the wrecked vehicle, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Sum.

His lawyer Ismail Hamid said his client was a "severe drug addict".

He said Indra committed the offences on the "spur of the moment".

The offences, he added, could be attributed to the effects of the drugs consumed that day.

Mr Ismail said Indra, who is divorced with two young daughters in his custody, has extended his apologies to the victims and assured the court that he would keep on the straight and narrow from now on.

COURT & CRIME