SINGAPORE - David James Roach, the Canadian sentenced to five years' jail and six strokes of the cane for robbing a bank of more than $30,000 in 2016, has been spared the cane.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Sunday (July 25) that Roach, who committed the Standard Chartered Bank robbery on July 7, 2016, had his sentence of caning remitted on Saturday.
This is because the Singapore Government, in order to secure his extradition, had assured Britain that any corporal sentence on Roach, who had fled Singapore, would not be carried out.
MHA said President Halimah Yacob, on the advice of the Cabinet, has exercised her powers under Article 22P(1) of Singapore's Constitution to remit the sentence of six strokes of the cane imposed on Roach.
"The Singapore Government has thus fulfilled the assurance given to the United Kingdom government. No alternative punishment will be imposed on Roach in lieu of the remitted sentence of caning."
David James Roach, now 31, had fled Singapore soon after the robbery, where he made off with $30,000. He was sentenced on July 7.
MHA said Roach fled Singapore to Thailand on the day of the robbery. On Jan 11, 2018, Roach was deported from Thailand and arrived in London on the same day.
The authorities here sought assistance from the British authorities to arrest Roach, with a view to extraditing him to Singapore.
As part of the extradition proceedings, the Singapore Government undertook to the British government that no form of corporal punishment would be carried out on Roach should he be found guilty here of the offences for which his extradition was sought.
"This is because the UK's extradition laws prohibited the extradition of Roach without such an assurance," MHA explained.
Roach was extradited from Britain and arrived in Singapore on March 17 to face charges of robbery and money laundering, having exhausted all legal channels for appeal in Britain against his extradition.
On July 7, he pleaded guilty at the State Courts to one count of robbery and one count of money laundering. For robbery, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and receive at least six strokes of the cane.
MHA noted that it was necessary for the Government to provide this assurance to Britain, or the latter would not have permitted the extradition.
"Extraditing Roach to Singapore to face justice for his crimes was our top priority," it said.
"The Singapore Government will do whatever is necessary and permissible within our legal framework to seek justice against those who commit crimes in Singapore, regardless of nationality and where they may have fled to."