SINGAPORE – The driver of a Maserati that dragged a police officer for 100m in 2017, and who repeatedly drove while banned from driving, pleaded with a High Court judge on Wednesday (Jan 18) to reduce his sentence totalling more than six years.
Lee Cheng Yan, 38, repeatedly said he was remorseful for what he had done, and was sorry for "not realising the consequences when I had freedom outside".
He asked for leniency "so that I can reunite with my two daughters earlier".
Lee also asked for his car not to be forfeited, saying he wished to use the sales proceeds to provide for his daughters, who are in Japan.
Justice Aedit Abdullah rejected Lee's appeal and chided him for not learning his lesson.
"You don't seem to understand the seriousness of what you have done," said the judge.
"You should be thankful the sentences are not enhanced," he added. "You should be spending your time in prison to reflect, and not to reduce your sentences."
A separate hearing regarding the forfeiture of the vehicle has been scheduled for Jan 25 in the State Courts.
Under the Road Traffic Act, in cases of repeat offenders convicted of driving while under disqualification, the court has to order the forfeiture of the vehicle when the prosecution applies for such an order.
Lee, who faced 79 charges, was sentenced in two sets of proceedings.
In July 2020, he was sentenced to four years and seven months' jail and a $3,700 fine on 10 charges, including voluntarily causing grievous hurt to a Traffic Police officer. He was also given a lifetime driving ban.
He was under a driving ban on Nov 17, 2017, when he was stopped by the officer in Bedok Reservoir Road for not wearing a seat belt.
While the officer was standing next to the driver's door, Lee suddenly reversed the car and then accelerated forward.
The officer's uniform got caught in the door and he was dragged by the moving vehicle for 124m before falling onto the road.
While Lee was on bail pending his appeal against his conviction and sentence, he repeatedly drove a BMW rented by one of his friends.
He was handed more charges for traffic offences. In one incident on March 12, 2021, he drove through a police roadblock, drove dangerously by speeding at 140kmh and ran two red lights.
In January 2022, he was sentenced to a further jail term of one year, nine months and 16 weeks.
The 15 charges also included offences for corruption and remote gambling. Another 54 charges were taken into consideration.
The second sentence was ordered to start after Lee completes serving his first sentence.
The time for him to file an appeal has elapsed, but he filed a motion in a bid to lower his overall sentence, arguing that the sentences for some of his charges should run concurrently instead of consecutively.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh argued that the second sentence involved offences that were distinct from those in the 2017 case that led to the first sentence.
He added that Lee had committed similar offences while on bail, and that Lee's dangerous driving was similar to his conduct that resulted in the first sentence.
Justice Abdullah said he saw no reason to disturb the sentences imposed, which he said were "not high at all".
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.