SINGAPORE - With a big stash of illegal cigarettes in his lorry, Daniel Shaun got worried when he saw a car on his tail. In a bid to get away, he ran a red light.
But he crashed into a taxi, and was caught, earning himself nine months in jail and a 11/2-year driving ban on Monday.
The 29-year-old, who pleaded guilty to a litany of charges, said his driving licence was his livelihood and that he was very remorseful.
He also admitted he was transporting the 350 cartons of dutyunpaid cigarettes from a warehouse in Kallang Way to Lorong 13 in Geylang as a favour to a certain Ah Beng, who had helped him pay off a debt in the past.
While driving along Upper Serangoon Road at 1am on May 15, he noticed a car following him.
He sped up and ran the red light at the next junction. But his lorry smashed into the taxi of Mr Chan Yong Thiang which was crossing the junction along Potong Pasir Avenue 1.
The taxi was badly damaged and Mr Chan, 43, hurt his right hand.
Shaun kept going but the Customs officers in the car following him stopped his lorry 150m from the junction.
The court heard that he committed the offences while on bail for obstructing a police officer on Christmas Eve last year. He also pleaded guilty to this charge and received a week in jail.
His total sentence was nine months and a week.
He could have been jailed for up to three years and fined up to $492,800 on the Customs charge, while the maximum punishment for the traffic violation is a year in jail and a fine of $3,000.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.