Man jailed for forgery, traffic offences during driving ban and theft

Being banned from operating all classes of vehicles did not stop Vija- yanand Arumugam from riding a motorcycle.

On July 27, 2014, Vijayanand, now 26, hit an elderly woman while riding a motorbike, causing multiple fractures.

Being banned also did not stop him from successfully applying for a job as a delivery driver. He simply forged a Traffic Police (TP) document.

Yesterday, he was jailed for 11 months and banned from operating all classes of vehicles for five years after pleading guilty to riding the motorcycle while under disqualification, causing grievous hurt by performing a negligent act, forgery and theft.

He also had three counts of theft, two traffic offences and one count of criminal breach of trust involving $3,638.45 in cash taken into consideration during sentencing.

Vijayanand had been disqualified from holding a driving licence for all classes of vehicles from Feb 28, 2014 to June 13, 2016 for an earlier traffic offence.

Vijayanand was jailed for 11 months and banned from operating all classes of vehicles for five years after pleading guilty to riding the bike while under disqualification, causing grievous hurt by performing a negligent act, forgery and theft.

Court papers did not mention the nature of the offence.

But on July 27, 2014, at around 10pm, he rode a motorbike in Yishun Ring Road. When he reached the traffic lights at Yishun Street 61, which were in his favour, he failed to keep a proper lookout and hit Madam Yip Wai Ying, 61, as she was crossing the road.

She was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and treated for several injuries, including multiple fractures in the ribs, a bruised lung and a fracture on her right shoulder blade. She was hospitalised for six days and later put on medical leave for 26 days.

Vijayanand got the delivery driver job during his disqualification period by forging an official Traffic Police letter. He had taken a picture of the letter, reminding him to turn up at TP headquarters for an investigation. He then edited it on his mobile phone and showed it to the owner of logistics company KJT Express, Mr Vincent Quck Weng Seng, 37, when he applied for a job with the firm.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Amanda Chong said: "Using this forged document, the accused managed to deceive (Mr Quck) into believing that the said document, which stated that the accused was permitted to drive Class 3 and Class 4 vehicles, was genuine."

Vijayanand was employed as a delivery driver on Feb 6 last year.

The offence came to light about two months later when Mr Quck lodged a police report, suspecting Vijayanand had stolen money from the company.

During investigations, police found the document - later established to be forged - while they were in the process of ascertaining Vijayanand's identity.

The court heard that on Aug 19 last year, he also stole two Puma Home United football jerseys that had been hung outside a flat at Block 758, Choa Chu Kang North 5.

For forgery, Vijayanand could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined. And for causing grievous hurt by performing a negligent act, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2017, with the headline 'Man jailed for forgery, traffic offences during driving ban and theft'. Print Edition | Subscribe