An electric scooter rider who collided with a 45-year-old pedestrian, causing her lasting injuries, was jailed eight months and seven weeks on Wednesday (13 February).
Muhammad Sha’if Jumadi, a 23-year-old Singaporean, was also jailed for consuming methamphetamine while out on bail.
Sha’if had pleaded guilty to one count of causing grievous hurt by a rash act along with two drug charges. One other drug charge and a charge of unlawfully possessing a knife while at a coffeeshop were taken into consideration for his sentencing.
The incident left Goh Lay Yong unable to continue working as an accountant. She also now requires assistance in daily tasks such as standing, walking and showering according to a report dated November last year.
Accused left scene of accident
The court heard that on 7 March last year, Sha’if was riding his e-scooter along the footpath of Bedok Reservoir Road towards the overhead bridge at Block 151 Bedok Reservoir Road.
As Sha’if approached the bridge, Goh – who had just descended from the bridge – stepped onto the footpath in the opposite direction. Unable to brake in time, Sha’if collided with Goh, who was flung to the ground and momentarily lost consciousness.
The impact of the collision also caused Sha’if to fall from his e-scooter. A Health Sciences Authority report found that he had been riding at a speed of about 22kmh to 25kmh at the time of the accident.
Sha’if then borrowed a passerby’s mobile phone to call for an ambulance. He gave the Singapore Civil Defence Force hotline operator a false phone number.
He then asked another passerby to stay with Goh and left before the ambulance arrived.
Victim unable to continue working
Goh sustained head trauma injuries and underwent surgery.
She was discharged after 20 days of hospitalisation and was able to walk a few weeks after. However, a doctor observed that she would require a long time to recover from cognitive dysfunction.
She was given 187 days of medical leave.
In a statement dated 8 November last year, Goh said she was unable to continue working. This placed her family’s financial burden on her daughter, who is now the sole breadwinner.
Goh also said that she need assistance for simple day-to-day tasks.
Consumed drugs while on bail
Sha’if was aware that the police was searching for him but did not surrender himself. He was arrested on 14 March – a week after the incident – at his home in Bedok.
While out on bail, he was arrested on 23 July for drug-related activities. A urine test found that he had consumed methamphetamine. Sha’if then admitted to consuming the drug every two days for some two months.
Sha’if’s lawyer Low Chun Yee asked for four weeks’ jail for his client on the charge of causing grievous hurt by a rash act.
Low said that his client did not flee the scene, but simply left as he “was not aware” that it was his duty to remain behind. Sha’if had borrowed a phone to call an ambulance and checked on the victim, which was not the behaviour of a man looking to shirk responsibility, said the lawyer.
After he was aware that the police were searching for him, Sha’if had decided to surrender himself but the police had caught up to him by then, said Low.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Deborah Lee pointed out, however, that Sha’if had a week to surrender himself and had made it difficult for the police to track him.
The prosecution urged the court to jail Sha’if for two months on the same charge, pointing out that Goh had suffered serious injuries.
For causing grievous hurt by a rash act, Sha’if could have been jailed up to four years and/or fined a maximum $10,000.
For consuming or possessing illegal drugs, Sha’if could have been jailed up to 10 years, fined up to $20,000 or both.