8 years and 2 months' jail for man who caused cop to suffer bleeding in brain during drug rampage

SINGAPORE - A man went on a drug-addled rampage while resisting arrest and pushed one police officer to the ground so hard, he suffered a bleeding of the brain.

Another officer sustained a fracture to his thumb during the incident which took place on Aug 4, 2017, at about 9am.

On Wednesday (May 23), Ampalagam Alagu, 42, was sentenced to a total of eight years and two months in jail and ordered to be given six strokes of the cane. He pleaded guilty to seven charges, including for drug-related offences. Four other charges were taken into consideration.

His sentence includes 14 months for hurting a public servant in the course of their duty and rash driving. Ampalagam has also been disqualified from driving for a year following his release.

The court heard that Ampalagam was spotted sitting on his motorcycle at the void deck of Block 406 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 with the engine running.

Senior Station Inspector (SSI) Guok Joong Yin, Corporal Galvin Tey and Special Constable Hung Yung Wei approached him following a resident's report that a motorcyclist had been riding his bike at the void deck.

The officers told him to switch off his engine but Ampalagam ignored their instructions and revved it instead.

While trying to ride away, he almost rammed into Corporal Tey. Ampalagam then lost control of his motorcycle and collided into a concrete bench.

He made a run for it but was caught by the three officers. During the ensuing struggle, he hit Corporal Tey on his left hand and arm.

When he pushed SSI Guok on the chest, the officer fell to the ground and momentarily lost consciousness. Ampalagam also punched SC Hung, bruising him in the mouth.

After Ampalagam was arrested, officers found his bag, which contained a packet of substance, later determined to be morphine. His urine samples also tested positive for morphine and he admitted to having taken it a day earlier.

The violent arrest resulted in SSI Guok suffering contusions to his brain and needing 23 days of medical leave. Corporal Tey fractured his left thumb and was given a week's medical leave.

Ampalagam has previous drug antecedents and was placed under compulsory supervision from June 2016 for a period of two years. Although he was required to present himself monthly for urine tests, he failed to show without valid reasons on 13 occasions.

His lawyer Mr A. Revi Shanker said that Ampalagam was under the influence of drugs when the incident happened and did not mean to injure the police officers.

But District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan said during his sentencing: "You cannot use intoxication to excuse your actions."

He also noted how Ampalagam missed his urine tests appointments, saying that he "refuses to learn" despite his previous mistakes.

He added: "It's very fortuitous that not more serious injuries were suffered by the police officers."

The minimum sentence for misuse of drugs is seven years' jail and six strokes of the cane. For voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant, Ampalagam could have been sentenced to seven years' jail with a fine or caning or both.