Man jailed for damaging windscreen of car in a road rage incident

A man who damaged the windscreen of a motorist's car in a road rage incident was sentenced to one week's jail on Friday. Arivalakan Narayanan Kanapathy, 55, admitted to mischief by hitting the front windscreen of civil servant Mervyn Lau Jun Ming's car at the open space carpark of Block 117 Bishan Street 12 at about midnight on May 1, 2011. The damage cost $1,853.

A magistrate's court heard that Mr Lau, whose girlfriend was seated in the front passenger seat, was driving along Bishan Street at about 11.45pm on April 30 that year when he noticed a van tailgating his car. The van's driver flashed his high beam behind him.

He recalled cutting into the driver's lane but he claimed to have signalled his intention before doing so. Arivalakan had alleged that the driver had cut into his lan abruptly without signalling.

Arivalakan subsequently followed the car into the Bishan carpark where he parked his van in front of the vehicle. He alighted and walked towards the victim's car before using the back of his hand to rap the front windscreen, causing a crack mark. When he realised that the crack mark was caused by his gemstone ring, he apologised to the victim and offered to make restitution.

District Judge May Mesenas said it was fortunate that the victims were not hurt as they did not come out of the car but had locked themselves in.

"This sort of behaviour cannot be tolerated. There has to be some kind of signal to be sent,'' she said.

Arivalakan, who has convictions for violence-related offences in 2007, had his sentence deferred to July 5 to sort out his personal and work matters. He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.