Man gets 21 months jail and 20-year driving ban for driving dangerously in 2013

Soh Seng Tze admitted to six charges, including dangerous driving and driving without the owner's consent.
Soh Seng Tze admitted to six charges, including dangerous driving and driving without the owner's consent.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Three years after a court suspended his licence for 10 years for driving under disqualification, a self-employed man did it again in 2013.

But it was only in April 15, 2017, that Soh Seng Tze, 35, was finally dealt with. He had absconded three years earlier.

On Monday (Nov 6), a court sentenced him to 21 months' jail and banned him from driving for 20 years after he admitted to six charges, including failing to stop when ordered by a police officer, dangerous driving and driving without the owner's consent.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Lee Zu Zhao said Soh had used his wife's car on March 25, 2013, and committed a series of traffic-related offences that day with his girlfriend as a passenger.

Although he initially pleaded guilty in March 2014 to various offences, he absconded before he was sentenced.

DPP Lee said Soh had gone over to his wife's flat in Jurong East on March 23, 2013 to visit his children when he took the car keys from a cabinet. The couple were separated at the material time.

His wife had kept the keys away from him as she did not want him to drive. She was aware that he had been slapped with a driving ban in July 2010.

But after he took the keys, he drove his wife's car along the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) towards the Tampines Expressway (TPE). He was heading to Pasir Ris where his girlfriend lived.

Soh drove at 110kmh, in excess of the 80kmh speed limit. Two uniformed officers in a police car gave chase after turning on the police blinker lights.

But Soh picked up speed on seeing them and exited into the TPE towards the Pan Island Expressway (PIE), speeding at 140kmh to 150kmh and cutting from the extreme left to the extreme right lane.

The officers signalled and waved to him to pull over but Soh ignored them and continued to accelerate, weaving in and out of traffic at 150kmh to 160kmh.

Once he entered the PIE, he swerved from the extreme left to extreme right lane, causing several vehicles to brake sharply to avoid an accident.

He maintained his speed, and entered the slip road into the East Coast Parkway Expressway (ECP) towards the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE), driving at 180kmh to 185kmh. He still refused to stop despite hearing the police siren and horn.

Later, he jammed his brakes and swerved to the extreme left, exiting into the East Coast Parkway service road. He turned off his headlight and entered a carpark.

He stopped there briefly, then immediately reversed and exited the carpark. He drove at a fast speed, causing several vehicles to slam their brakes.

The court heard that two police motorcycles joined in the chase but Soh continued to accelerate, swerving abruptly and driving recklessly.

While driving against the flow of traffic towards a police officer's motorcycle along Marina Boulevard, the corporal saw that a collision was inevitable and jumped off his bike before Soh crashed into it, causing $4,448 in damages.

But even then he did not stop.

He reversed and continued driving, and beat a red light before turning into a carpark along Prince Edward Road where he crashed into a police car which had caught up with him. The estimated cost of repairs to the police car was about $9,030.

Soh, who had two other charges taken into consideration, had also deserted from his national service duty at the Singapore Civil Defence Force for one year, four months and a day between November 2011 and March 2013.