Man who drove into sea off Sentosa Cove had taken illegal drugs, court heard

Lim Jin Ping pleaded guilty in court to two mischief charges. In 2017, he drove his multi-purpose vehicle into the waters off Sentosa Cove while under the influence of narcotics.
Lim Jin Ping pleaded guilty in court to two mischief charges. In 2017, he drove his multi-purpose vehicle into the waters off Sentosa Cove while under the influence of narcotics.PHOTOS: LAU FOOK KONG, LEI ZHIPING

SINGAPORE - A man who drove his multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) into the waters off Sentosa Cove last year was under the influence of narcotics when he went behind the wheel that day, a district court heard on Monday (Nov 5).

Lim Jin Ping, 37, admitted that he smoked amphetamine every day in the week before the incident on Aug 25 last year.

He pleaded guilty in court on Monday to two mischief charges. The father of three also admitted to one count each of assault and drug consumption.

A report from the Institute of Mental Health, dated Sept 14 last year, said Lim was intoxicated with amphetamines leading to psychotic symptoms, such as auditory hallucinations and paranoid delusions. These symptoms ceased while he was in remand at IMH.

The court heard that he had been admitted to IMH in 2012 and 2015 for drug-induced psychosis after consuming amphetamines.

Last year, at around 2pm on Aug 25, Lim drove to the Sentosa Gateway entrance of the island and smashed through a gantry barrier, causing $1,605 worth of damages. He then drove against the flow of traffic at a roundabout towards Tanjong Beach Walk.

About six minutes later, he drove through another barrier behind Tanjong Beach Club. Sentosa ranger Imran Kamarudin, 31, saw the MPV heading towards him at a speed of about 40kmh.

Before he could get out of the way, the MPV hit the right side of his body, causing him to roll off the bonnet onto the ground.

Mr Imran and his colleague Muliadi Mohamad Nafia pursued the vehicle on their bikes as it headed towards Tanjong Gate, which separates Cove Drive from Tanjong Beach Walk.

 

Lim rammed through the closed gate, causing damages worth $2,190.59 and drove against the flow of traffic along Cove Drive. When he reached the entrance of W Singapore Sentosa Cove hotel, he made a right turn, drove towards the marina and plunged into the waters nearby.

On Monday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Yang Ziliang told the court ship captain David Roberts, 36, who is trained in lifesaving, dived into the sea on seeing the MPV plunging into the water.

The DPP added: "David reached through the open driver's window and unbuckled the accused's seatbelt...David used a stone to break the back window of the vehicle and pulled the accused out of the submerged vehicle."

An ambulance took Lim to the Singapore General Hospital and his urine sample later showed traces of amphetamine and methamphetamine.

Lim is out on a $20,000 bail and is expected to be sentenced on Nov 27.

Correction note: Grab has clarified that Lim Jin Ping was no longer a Grab driver at the time of the accident.