Ex-auxiliary cop jailed for gun play

Former Certis Cisco corporal sentenced to five months' jail for rashly firing his revolver

A former Certis Cisco corporal, who was convicted of performing a rash act in a game similar to Russian roulette, was yesterday sentenced to five months' jail.

Gregory Lai Kar Jun, 23, fired one round from his revolver at Tuas Checkpoint on Aug 13, 2015.

District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim rejected his lawyer's suggestion to consider probation, a short detention order, or a fine.

"A probation order will give Lai a chance to be rehabilitated and reflect on his own mistakes," said his lawyer Peter Ong Lip Cheng.

"Probation will also deter him from further crime and allow him to learn to take responsibility for his own actions," added Mr Ong.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Jane Lim asked for six months' jail. Lai committed a serious crime and there was a higher need for deterrence compared with rehabilitation, she said.

She added that Lai abused his authority as an auxiliary police officer when he fired his revolver.

Lai, who is now unemployed, was found guilty of three charges on Jan 24, after a three-day trial. Besides committing the rash act, he obstructed the course of justice by hiding the discharged round in a traffic wand, and then lied about the incident to a policeman the next day.

Lai had been on duty at the checkpoint with his colleague, Muhammad Dzul Adhar Azmi, 22, when he played with his gun. At around 2pm, Lai emptied his revolver and placed a bullet inside the chamber, which can hold five rounds.

He pointed the weapon at the floor and squeezed the trigger, but nothing happened.

The second time he squeezed the trigger, the revolver fired.

Lai and Dzul then looked for the discharged round. Lai found part of the bullet under a table about an hour later, and hid it inside the battery compartment of the traffic wand.

To cover things up, he threw a bullet into a toilet and reported that he had lost two bullets there.

Dzul, who was also a Certis Cisco corporal at that time, helped Lai dispose of the discharged round by throwing it into Bedok Reservoir at around 2am on Aug 14, 2015.

Dzul was jailed for three weeks and fined $2,000 on Oct 21 last year, after pleading guilty to obstructing the course of justice and failing to inform police about Lai's rash act.

For obstructing the course of justice, Lai could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.

For performing a rash act, he could have been jailed for up to six months and fined up to $2,500.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2017, with the headline 'Ex-auxiliary cop jailed for gun play'. Print Edition | Subscribe