Cyclist admits to negligent act after colliding into elderly woman, who breaks her hip, in market

SINGAPORE - A hawker stall owner ignored the rules and rode her bicycle in the market - despite several signs reminding the public not to do so.

While cycling in the market at Block 85 Bedok North Street 4 on Sept 22, 2016, Cai Mei Ying knocked into Ms Ang Ah Soi, 77, who fell to the ground and broke her left hip bone.

Cai, a 49-year-old Singaporean, pleaded guilty in court on Friday (June 29) to causing grievous hurt to Ms Ang through a negligent act.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Christina Koh told the court that Cai operates a stall selling bean curd and noodles at the market. She regularly rode her bicycle to and from her workplace as well as in it.

DPP Koh said: "She did so... despite being fully aware that there were 'No Bicycles' signs placed at various points within the market's compound, and despite knowing that it was dangerous for her to do so since the market was often crowded with people and the spaces were narrow."

Cai left her home at Block 116 Bedok North Road and cycled to the market at around 10am on Sept 22, 2016.

She proceeded to ride her bicycle into the market, said the DPP. While heading towards her stall, she failed to keep a proper lookout and did not see Ms Ang walking nearby.

Another stall owner called out to Cai and tried to alert her about the impending collision, but it was too late.

DPP Koh said: "The accused tried to stop her bicycle by applying the bicycle brake and also placed her left foot on the ground. However, she was unable to stop her bicycle in time and her bicycle's front tyre hit the victim's right leg, causing the victim to fall backwards onto the ground. This incident occurred right in front of a 'No Bicycles' sign."

Ms Ang was taken to Changi General Hospital where she was diagnosed with a fracture in her left hip bone. She was discharged on Sept 29, 2016.

Her medical bills have come up to more than $13,000 and she could only pay $1,000, said the DPP.

Ms Ang has no medical insurance and the balance remains unpaid, the court heard.

On Friday, DPP Koh urged District Judge Jill Tan to sentence Cai to at least four weeks' jail. She stressed that Cai was not supposed to be cycling in the market and had "turned a blind eye" to the signs. The prosecutor also asked the court to make a compensation order.

Cai was represented by Senior Counsel Lok Vi Ming, who was assigned to the case under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme.

She is now out on bail of $8,000 and will be back in court on July 24.