Architect who fled roadblock and punched cop jailed

AN ARCHITECT who was riding despite a driving ban fled from a roadblock set up by police and later punched a police officer who caught up with him after a chase.

Yesterday, Lee Jianlong, 29, was sentenced to 24 weeks' jail, a fine of $10,000 and a six-year driving ban after pleading guilty to five of six charges.

He had been banned from driving for 28 months for drink driving in April last year.

The court heard that at about 2.30am on Feb 11 this year, Lee was directed to pull over his motorcycle at a roadblock along Woodlands Avenue 12 manned by Corporal Muhammad Hafeez Muhammad, 27, and his colleague.

But Lee sped off, and Cpl Hafeez and his colleagues gave chase in a police car. Lee beat the red light at the signalised junction of Woodlands Avenue 1 and Woodlands Drive 16.

The chase ended in a multistorey carpark of Block 519A, Woodlands Drive 14.

Ignoring Cpl Hafeez's call to him, Lee ran to a staircase landing on the third floor of Block 520, where he punched the victim in the chest. A scuffle ensued, and Lee was detained when more officers arrived at the scene.

Lee, who smelled of alcohol, later failed a breathalyser test and was escorted to Jurong Police Division for another test. He was found to have 108 micrograms per 100ml of breath - nearly three times the legal limit.

His lawyer Amolat Singh said in mitigation that what his client did was truly out of character, and he regrets very much committing the offences "in a moment of folly and indiscretion".

District Judge Toh Yung Cheong said Lee's offences of driving while under disqualification and repeat drink driving were very serious.

The sentence must be sufficient to deter persons from evading arrest after they are stopped at roadblocks, the judge added.

By continuing to ride his motorbike through the roadblock, he said Lee posed a danger to the police officers there, as well as to members of the public in the subsequent chase.

ELENA CHONG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2015, with the headline 'Architect who fled roadblock and punched cop jailed'. Print Edition | Subscribe