Drug abuser in BKE car chase jailed

Trying to evade arrest, a recalcitrant drug abuser who was wanted by anti-narcotics officers sped off in a dangerous manner when a Traffic Police (TP) officer ordered him to stop his car last year.

Asree Ahmad, now 38, later abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot, leaving his former wife behind in the still-moving car.

She had to jump into the driver's seat to stop the car.

Yesterday, Asree was jailed for five years and three months with three strokes of the cane.

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Asree, who pleaded guilty to three drug-related offences and one count each of dangerous driving, driving without a valid licence, and failing to stop his vehicle despite police orders, was also disqualified from driving for two years.

The court heard that he was convicted of drug consumption in 2007 and 2010, and sent to jail both times.

He was also given a Drug Supervision Order for two years, starting from May 29, 2015.

As a drug supervisee, he had to present himself to the duty officer at Tanglin Police Division Headquarters every Monday and Friday for urine tests. But he failed to turn up when he relapsed and consumed heroin.

On March 26 last year, Asree was driving a car along Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) at around 9.45am when a uniformed TP officer flashed his blinkers, instructing him to stop for checks.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Pang Jaime said: "The accused did not stop when directed to, as he knew he was wanted by the (Central Narcotics Bureau) for absconding on his urine tests and wanted to escape detection."

Asree sped off in a dangerous manner, swerving from lane to lane.

And he nearly collided with at least four vehicles, including a bus, while the TP officer was giving chase.

The car chase lasted almost five minutes and progressed from the highway to a residential area in Bukit Panjang.

DPP Pang said: "When the accused abandoned the car, he did not stop it fully, resulting in... his ex-wife having to jump into the driver's seat to stop the car."

The TP officer later lost sight of Asree, but he was arrested on Jan 5 this year.

Court papers did not reveal details of how he was arrested.

Asree was taken to Ang Mo Kio Police Division Headquarters and his urine sample was found to contain traces of heroin.

The maximum sentence for consuming the controlled drug is seven years' jail and six strokes of the cane.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2017, with the headline 'Drug abuser in BKE car chase jailed'. Print Edition | Subscribe