Man, 26, jailed 2 years and 9 months for various offences, including dangerous driving causing death

A 26-year-old man was sentenced to two years and nine months in jail on Monday for a series of offences.
A 26-year-old man was sentenced to two years and nine months in jail on Monday for a series of offences.PHOTO: ST GRAPHIC

SINGAPORE - A 26-year-old man was sentenced to two years and nine months in jail on Monday for a series of offences which included theft, procurement of a youth for unlicensed moneylending harassment, and dangerous driving causing death.

The court heard that at about midnight on Oct 23, 2013, Eric Leong Teck Wai, his girlfriend and two friends met up for supper.

Leong was driving along Hillview Avenue when he wanted to overtake a taxi travelling ahead of his car on the left lane.

He sharply accelerated and overtook the taxi by switching from the left lane into the right lane.

Shortly after he passed by the taxi, he lost control of his car, causing it to swerve suddenly to its left, before mounting a kerb and colliding into a tree.

Leong's girlfriend, Ng Hui Ling Cheryl, 23, who was in the front passenger seat, was pronounced dead on the spot at 12.27am by paramedics.

One of Leong's friends was flung out of the car through a broken windscreen.

Leong and his friends were taken by ambulance to hospital. The trio were admitted with various fractures and other injuries.

Leong's blood sample tested positive for two drugs - Lignocaine and Phenazepam.

While Lignocaine can be found in some mouth and throat medications, Phenazepam, which is a sedative-hypnotic drug, is not licensed for use in Singapore.

As a result of the accident, Leong has been wheel chair bound and unable to work.

In court on Monday, Leong also pleaded guilty to one charge of theft.

On Oct 13, 2013, Leong and an accomplice stole 10 live birds worth $6,750 from Nan Seng Bird Shop Trading in Tanjong Katong Road.

His accomplice was placed on 18 months' probation last year for his role in the theft.

Leong also pleaded guilty to procuring a person below 16 years of age to commit harassment on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender.

He told a friend who worked for an unlicensed moneylender that a 15-year-old boy was interested in working for him to earn some extra cash.

On March 6, 2013, Leong drove the 15-year-old boy to a debtor's unit for him to splash paint on the door.

In mitigation, Leong's lawyer K. Jayakumar Naidu said Leong has "mild mental retardation with a full scale IQ of only 63".

Leong deferred his sentence to Oct 5 as he has to undergo an operation on his leg.