Jail, cane for drug offender who drove dangerously to avoid arrest

Asree Ahmad was jailed for five years and three months and ordered to receive three strokes of the cane for driving in a dangerous manner to escape arrest.
Asree Ahmad was jailed for five years and three months and ordered to receive three strokes of the cane for driving in a dangerous manner to escape arrest.ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A recalcitrant drug offender led the police on a dangerous road chase before abandoning the car and forcing his ex-wife to jump into the driver's seat to stop the car.

Asree Ahmad, now 38, was eventually arrested. On Wednesday (June 21), he was jailed for five years and three months and ordered to receive three strokes of the cane.

His offences include driving in a dangerous manner to escape arrest.

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 he had been convicted of drug consumption in 2007 and 2010, and was sent to jail on both instances.

He was later placed under compulsory supervision for two years from May 29, 2015 to May 28, this year.

As a drug supervisee, he had to present himself to the duty officer at Tanglin Police Divisional 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 at around 9.45am when a uniformed Traffic Police (TP) officer flashed his blinkers, instructing him to stop for checks.

Asree's ex-wife was also in the car at that time, the court heard.

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 nearly collided with at least four other vehicles including a bus, while the officer gave chase.

DPP Pang added: "The car chase lasted almost five minutes and progressed from the highway to a residential area (in Bukit Panjang). The accused eventually abandoned the car and fled on foot.

"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 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 Divisional Headquarters and his urine sample was later found to contain traces of heroin.

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