SINGAPORE - A district judge said on Thursday (June 14) that a short detention order would be a suitable sentence for an electric scooter rider who hit a pedestrian, causing her severe brain injuries.
However, District Judge Eddy Tham deferred 18-year-old Nicholas Ting Nai Jie's sentencing to July 17 after he called for a report to assess the teenager's suitability for a community service order.
If given a short detention order, the polytechnic student may have to serve a brief stint of up to two weeks behind bars but will not have a criminal record after he is released.
Offenders given a community service order have to perform supervised community service for a given period of time.
The teenager pleaded guilty on Wednesday to causing grievous hurt to housewife Ang Liu Kiow while riding his e-scooter in a negligent manner on a footpath in Pasir Ris Drive 1 on Sept 17, 2016.
The 55-year-old mother of three was left in a month-long coma. Her husband told The Straits Times in a subsequent interview that his wife could no longer remember the past or express herself properly.
On the day of the incident, Ting had his girlfriend with him when they made their way to Pasir Ris East Community Club - ignoring the e-scooter's instruction manual's warning against riding with a pillion rider.
Ting had not been keeping a proper lookout and was travelling at about 15kmh, failing to slow down or sound his horn even though pedestrians were in the vicinity, the court heard.
When Madam Ang stepped onto the footpath in front of a bus stop, Ting applied the brakes but it was too late.
The e-scooter knocked into the housewife and she hit her head on the ground. An ambulance took her to Changi General Hospital, where she was found to be bleeding in her brain.
Ting's lawyer, Mr Peter Keith Fernando, told the court on Thursday that his client is remorseful and hopes Madam Ang's condition will improve.
Mr Fernando added: "Our Government should take a serious view of the dangers caused by irresponsible PMD (personal mobility device) users and the injuries that may result, as this case amply demonstrates.
"As a longstanding member of our criminal justice system, I respectfully recommend to our Government a total ban on the use of PMDs on our roads and pavements."