E-bike rider gets short detention for crashing into jogger

Joven Heng Gin How, 20, will serve one week behind bars but will not have a criminal record after release.
Joven Heng Gin How, 20, will serve one week behind bars but will not have a criminal record after release.

A teenager who caused a brain injury to a jogger after riding into him on an electric bicycle was sentenced to a week's short detention order yesterday.

Under the order, offenders are put behind bars for a short time but will not have a criminal record after their release.

Joven Heng Gin How, now 20 and a full-time national serviceman, was also given a community service order, requiring him to perform 140 hours of community service within a year.

He pleaded guilty last month to injuring Mr Chua Kok Soon, 37, by riding the bike in a rash manner on June 9 last year.

One count of unlawfully riding the bike on a footpath was considered during sentencing.

Heng was riding the vehicle for the first time and reached a speed of about 40kmh on a footpath near Marina Bay Sands at about 6am.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Chin said: "The accused displayed a high degree of culpability by riding a PAB (power-assisted bicycle) where it should not be ridden - along a footpath at high speed in the wee hours of the morning, when no vehicles are expected by users of this public space, and causing hurt to the victim by colliding into him."

The court heard that Heng had met a friend earlier that day who wanted to sell the bike. Heng asked if he could take it for a spin and the friend agreed.

The DPP told District Judge Eddy Tham that Heng said he was doing about 40kmh when he spotted two joggers in front of him.

He managed to overtake the first jogger safely and was trying to overtake Mr Chua when the man veered to the right.

DPP Chin added: "The accused tried to brake but was not able to stop in time. The PAB ridden by the accused skidded from braking and collided into the victim from behind, hitting his legs." Both men fell to the ground.

Heng, who suffered abrasions to his feet and right knee, came forward to help Mr Chua and left his contact number with one of the jogger's friends.

Heng left the scene before the police and paramedics arrived.

Mr Chua was taken to hospital, where he was warded overnight for observation.

Heng, who was unrepresented, pleaded for leniency and said that he had offered assistance to Mr Chua that morning. For causing hurt by performing a rash act, he could have been jailed for up to a year and fined up to $5,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2019, with the headline 'E-bike rider gets short detention for crashing into jogger'. Print Edition | Subscribe