Jail term cut for businessman who found scapegoats for parking offences

A businessman, who was convicted of instigating his driver to get two scapegoats for illegal parking offences committed by his friends, had his jail term reduced from six weeks to one on Friday.

Seah Hock Thiam had appealed against his sentence and conviction handed down last November. The 46-year-old is president of Esun International, which deals with the trading of scrap metal. His lawyer, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh, had argued in May that a fine would have been a sufficient punishment.

He was convicted last year on two charges of abetting his driver, Mr Mohamad Azmi Abdul Wahab, 40, to find two people to take the blame for traffic offences committed by Mr John Ho Ah Huat and Mr Ong Pang Aik. The two 54-year-old men had parked their cars illegally along Simon Road on Aug 12, 2009.

After both men received summonses from the Traffic Police asking for the drivers' particulars, Mr Ong faxed over the documents to Seah, who handed them to his driver to settle. Seah paid both scapegoats about $300 each, a sum that included the $120 fine.