Drug addict carjacks vehicle at knifepoint, fractures bones in accident after he loses control while speeding

SINGAPORE - An unemployed drug addict spotted a car at a taxi stand and shouted for the owner to hand over the key to the Honda Civic.

When the car owner stayed silent, Indra Haiqal Azman Ali took out a knife, which was still in its case, and continued shouting at Mr Vikesh Ram Tamil Arasan.

When Mr Vikesh, 30, failed to hand over the key, Indra, 27, pointed the kukri knife - which has an inwardly curved blade - at the victim.

Indra drove off after Mr Vikesh handed him the key, with the victim and his friends giving chase in a taxi.

Indra, who had no driving licence, then drove at 80kmh to 121kmh, above the speed limit of 50kmh. He lost control of the car while negotiating a bend at high speed, and suffered fractures after the car skidded and landed on its side.

Indra was arrested when Mr Vikesh and his friends arrived with the police.

Indra had earlier stolen two drinks from a minimart before the carjacking.

All the offences took place at about 1am on May 8.

On Tuesday (Dec 5), District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim sentenced Indra to three years and two weeks in jail and 12 strokes of the cane, and banned him from driving for a year.

Indra had faced six charges and pleaded guilty on Tuesday to five of them - robbery, driving without a licence and insurance coverage, dangerous driving and theft of two drinks.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Sum said that shortly before 1am on May 8, Mr Vikesh parked his car at a taxi stand in Boon Lay Way opposite Lakeside MRT station while he had a smoke with two friends.

After the vehicle was carjacked by Indra, one of Mr Vikesh's friends called the police, and the trio followed Indra in a taxi.

Indra suffered multiple injuries when he lost control of the car in Jurong West Street 24, but managed to crawl out of the wrecked vehicle.

He was treated at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Changi Medial Centre for fractures to his ribs and spine.

Shortly before the carjacking, Indra stole two drinks totalling $4 from Happy Shoppy at Block 517, Jurong West Street 52, the court heard.

He moved the canvas sheet covering the drinks refrigerator and used his kukri knife to break the glass panel to steal the drinks, said DPP Sum.

In mitigation, Indra's lawyer Ismail Hamid said his client was a "severe drug addict" and had been taking drugs since he was a teenager.

He said Indra committed the offences on the "spur of the moment". The offences, he added, could be attributed to the effects of the drugs he had consumed that day.

Mr Ismail said his client was utterly contrite and regretted his wrongdoing.

Indra, who is divorced with two young daughters in his custody, extended his apologies to the victims and assured the court that he would keep on the straight and narrow from now on, the lawyer added.