Man who faked accident jailed 10 months for conspiracy to cheat driver

SINGAPORE - An unemployed man who conspired with another to deceive a motorist into believing that his car had hit him was jailed for 10 months on Monday.

Tan Lian Seng, 59, admitted to scheming with Neo Choon Hock, 55, to cheat Mr Gan Kah Hua by hitting his hand on the left rear portion of the 38-year-old's car to deceive him into believing that the car had hit him, inducing the driver to deliver monetary compensation.

A district court heard that Mr Gan was driving into the carpark of Marina Bay Sands (MBS) at Bayfront Avenue on Oct 25 last year when Tan walked towards the victim's vehicle and deliberately used his hand to hit its back.

On hearing a thud sound, Mr Gan alighted and saw Tan lying on the ground near the back of his car. He asked Tan if he needed any medical attention but Tan said no.

Neo appeared and allegedly told the victim he had knocked down Tan, who was his friend.

Neo asked the victim how he intended to settle the matter without going to the police. He allegedly asked for some money as compensation for the purported accident.

The victim suggested viewing CCTV footage of the incident first and did not give any money them. Neo has not been dealt with yet.

Tan's assigned lawyer M. Lukshumayeh said Tan has no fixed accommodation and has been unemployed for many years as he was in prison serving sentences.

Tan, who had been to jail for about 19 times since he was a teenager, had a history of smoking heroin for the last 10 years. He began taking codeine in recent times for his foot pain.

He was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder and substance abuse.

He was last jailed for eight months for cheating and had committed the present offences four days after his release.

Noting Tan's numerous property convictions, District Judge Christopher Goh said it seemed to him Tan had gone "downhill a little'' last year, and the periods between his imprisonment term were getting shorter and shorter.

Tan could have been jailed for up to five years and fined for the offence. Another charge of criminal trespass at MBS was taken into consideration.