Singapore prosecutor calling for a sentence to be reduced

ALVAN SIO | 22nd Sep 2015 | NEWS

Singapore prosecutors are calling for a sentence meted out to a cyclist to be reduced.

The prosecution had originally called for 35-year-old Lim Choon Teck to be imprisoned for at least two weeks for the rash act, which knocked over Madam Chng Kian and left her with a fractured elbow and wrist injury.

Madam Chng, 69, and her husband Ng Seok Choon, 74, were walking towards a bus stop in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, on the evening of May 17, when Lim rode on the pavement at an unsafe speed and collided into her.

Last week, Lim pleaded guilty to the rash-act charge and
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Ee Kuan highlighted aggravating factors such as Lim cycling on the pavement, causing grievous hurt, and bolting off instead of waiting for the ambulance.

However, District Judge Lee-Khoo Poh Choo meted out a sentence four times as long as the DPP’s minimum demand. She said Lim lacked remorse in not remaining with the elderly couple and acted “in a selfish, cowardly and irresponsible manner”.

The district judge likened the case to a hit-and-run road traffic accident, pointing out that precedent cases had jail terms ranging from two weeks to three months.

She noted that a bicycle, unlike a car, did not have a registration number to trace the rider and there is no insurance under which the injured victim could recover damages. She added: “Cyclists know the risks against them are very low. It can be said that, generally, they suffer no consequences when they cycle on pavements in an unsafe manner.

“Hence I felt that the punishment ought to be more severe to deter cyclists from such irresponsible conduct, especially when they had injured innocent, rightful users of the pavement or pathway.”

The prosecution is arguing that the eight-week sentence is “manifestly excessive” in what may well turn into a benchmark case on how errant cyclists who ride on pavements are dealt with.