Elderly Ferrari driver sentenced to 6 weeks' jail and $4,500 fine for multiple offences

Wan Ting Koh
Reporter
Ferrari driver Shi Ka Yee leaving the State Courts on 12 October 2018 after she was sentenced for various offences. PHOTO: Wan Ting Koh/Yahoo News Singapore

A Ferrari driver who has been in and out of court in the past few years will serve a total of six weeks’ jail for multiple offences committed between 2014 and 2017.

The sentence handed to 73-year-old Shi Ka Yee included a four-week jail term imposed on her previously for striking a motorist along Telok Ayer Road in 2014. Shi’s attempt to overturn this jail term and undergo a Mandatory Treatment Order instead on the grounds of her mental condition was rejected by the High Court last month.

Shi, an interior designer who co-founded an architecture company, will begin her jail term on 25 October.

On Friday (12 October), Shi was handed a new jail term of two weeks and fined $4,500 for her outstanding charges – wrongful confinement, committing a rash act to endanger the safety of a person, drink driving, and obstructing traffic. She was also disqualified from driving for 20 months.

In previous hearings, Shi claimed that she is suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder caused by her ex-husband’s affair and past incidents of her being assaulted by men.

On Friday, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Wong Kok Weng sought for short jail terms each for the charge of wrongful confinement and the charge of obstructing traffic.

Shi’s actions to stop the car along Orchard Road and confront a bus driver who honked at her were disproportionate to what the victim had done, said DPP Wong.

Shi had also caused a worker to be trapped in a crane bucket for a significant period of time in a separate incident, he added. The DPP asked for a fine for the charge of rash act, as the injuries caused were minor. It left the amount of the fine to the court.

As to the drink driving charge, the prosecution asked for a $2,000 fine and a disqualification order of 24 months, as Shi had disregarded the danger she posed to the public and had ignored the advice of a police officer who observed her intoxicated state.

The prosecution added there were no mitigating factors presented in Shi’s psychiatric reports as her depression did not contribute to the offences. She had offended from 2014 to 2017 while she was undergoing treatment, noted the prosecution.

N Sreenivasan, the lawyer acting for Shi, disagreed with the prosecution’s position that Shi’s mental condition was not a contributing factor. Shi was also represented by lawyers S Balamurugan and Partheban Pandiyan.

Citing a psychiatric report, Sreenivasan said, “There was a likely psychological explanation why she was  only aggressive towards men in the offences. These men  had reminded her of her ex-husband’s behaviour towards  her. She became agitated each time something reminded her of her ex husband.”

The lawyer noted that his client was no longer known as Madam Shi, but as a Ferrari driver. “The publicity has tarnished her, exposed her to ridicule.”

Shi had a clean record until she was 69 years old, which was also when she was suffering from major depressive disorder, Sreenivasan said.

While medical reports state that her illness had no causal link to the offences, it should be considered for the purpose of mitigation, said the lawyer.

District Judge Lim Tse Haw said that while an accused person’s psychiatric condition is always a relevant factor, Shi’s depression did not cause or contribute significantly to the offences.

The judge added that in sentencing, a message should be sent that no person should behave in a belligerent manner over trivial matters.

2014

On 25 February 2014, motorist Raphael Chong was waiting for a parking lot along Telok Ayer Street when Shi pulled up beside in a red Ferrari. Shi asked Chong to move his car but the latter told her that there was enough space for her car to pass.

Shi exited her car and the two had a verbal dispute before Shi punched the BMW driver on his face. Chong sustained a cut above his right eyebrow from the incident.

Shi was convicted on one count of voluntarily causing hurt after a two-day trial in 2017.

2015

When her neighbour called in contractors to prune Shi’s tree, which was encroaching into his property, Shi confronted him.

Nasrat Muzayyin, who lived beside Shi, had been in contact with her about her tree since 14 October 2014, as he felt the tree posed a danger to his family and needed to be trimmed.

On 17 February 2015, as a worker stood in an elevated crane bucket to reach the tree branches, Shi used vulgarities on Nasrat and told him, “you cut my tree, my tree is a living thing, I hope your kids die.”

Shi later removed the key from the engine of the lorry crane, trapping the worker on the crane bucket. Later, Nasrat stood in front of Shi’s car to prevent her from leaving her home but Shi drove her car forward and bumped into Nasrat, who was forced to move aside for his safety. Shi then left in her car.

The worker was trapped in the crane bucket for an hour and had to be rescued by Singapore Civil Defence Force officers.

Shi pleaded guilty to one count of wrongful confinement and one count of committing a rash act which endangered the safety of a person.

2016

On 29 June 2016, driver Wu Xiaokui was driving a bus along Claymore Road towards Orchard Road directly behind Shi’s car. Shi was traveling at a slow speed towards a T-junction despite clear traffic, forcing Wu to drive at 5kmh as a result.

Wu honked to alert Shi. As Shi was turning left at the junction, her car suddenly came to a halt in the middle of Orchard Road, blocking Wu’s path and prompting him to honk again.

Shi then confronted Wu, telling him to return to China if he wanted to sound his horn. Wu asked Shi to move her car but she refused, causing a long traffic jam, which was made worse due to the evening peak hour traffic. Shi left the scene in her car after police officers got involved.

Shi pleaded guilty to one count of leaving her car in a position likely to cause obstruction to traffic.

To date, the key of the crane engine has not been returned. Shi said that she had given it to previous lawyers.

2017

On 31 January last year, Shi consumed one glass of wine and later had two glasses of gin and tonic at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Police who were later called to the scene found that Shi smelled strongly of alcohol and had an unsteady gait and slurred speech.

The officer advised Shi not to drive but Shi insisted on driving. She rushed towards her car, which was parked at the entrance of the hotel. She got into her car and pulled out of the driveway. The officer ran towards the car and managed to prevent Shi from driving into the main road.

Shi was ordered to get out of the car. The officer then attempted to conduct a breathalyser test on Shi, who was uncooperative for 20 minutes.

Shi was arrested and later found to have 103mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, which exceeded the legal limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Shi pleaded guilty to one count of drink driving.

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