A 73-year-old Ferrari driver who has repeatedly landed in legal trouble over road rage incidents was back in court on Tuesday (14 August).
Shi Ka Yee had been upset over her neighbour having hired workers to trim the branches of a rain tree growing on her Astrid Hill property and removed the key from the crane the workers were using, leaving one of them trapped in its basket. In a separate incident, she attempted to flee from the police in her car after having consumed alcohol while at the Grand Hyatt hotel.
At the State Courts, Shi pleaded guilty to one count of wrongful confinement, one count of committing a rash act to endanger the personal safety of others and one count of drink driving. She agreed to have three similar counts taken into consideration for her sentencing – the date for which has not been set.
Much ado over a tree
According to the prosecution, the branches of Shi’s tree had been encroaching into Nasrat Muzayyin’s property on Astrid Hill.
Nasrat had informed Shi of the need to trim its branches, claiming they posed a danger to his family. He sent Shi text messages and e-mails on the matter from October 2014, and although Shi initially agreed to have the tree pruned, she did not end up doing so.
Nasrat eventually hired a horticultural company to prune the tree, and workers arrived at his home on 17 February 2015 to carry out the task.
At about 9.33am, Shi showed up and confronted Nasrat in his home. She hurled vulgarities at him, adding, “You cut my tree, my tree is a living thing, I hope your kids die.”
Shi then left Nasrat’s home but returned soon after, whereupon she removed the key to the engine of the lorry crane that the workers had been using. This left one of the workers stranded high above the ground inside the crane’s bucket.
Other workers on the ground asked Shi to return the crane’s engine key but she ignored them and drove off in her car.
After Nasrat was informed of the incident, he went to Shi’s home to retrieve the key and threatened to call the police if she did not hand it over. Shi refused to do so and used more profanities on Nasrat.
After a short exchange, Shi attempted to drive out of her home but Nasrat stood in front of her car to prevent her from leaving. Shi still moved her car forward, causing it to touch Nasrat.
He then stepped aside for his own safety, allowing Shi to leave the scene. As she drove away, Shi told Nasrat that she was going to Hong Kong.
As a result of Shi’s actions, the worker was trapped in the crane bucket for about an hour until he was rescued by officers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force.
Drink driving incident
Shi’s drink driving charge was related to an incident at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on the night of 31 January. Responding to a call, police officers arrived at the hotel at about 11.16pm and interviewed Shi at its entrance.
One officer observed that she smelled strongly of alcohol, her gait was unsteady and that her speech was slurred. The officer advised Shi not to drive but Shi insisted that she was capable of operating her vehicle.
She then rushed towards her car, which was parked near the hotel’s entrance, and managed to pull out of the driveway. However, the officer ran over to Shi’s car and managed to prevent her from driving onto the main road.
The officer then ordered Shi to get out of the car and conducted a breathalyser test on her. Shi refused to cooperate and avoided taking the test for 20 minutes. She was eventually arrested for failing to provide a breath specimen.
Shi was taken to Tanglin Police Station, where a blood alcohol analysis showed that her blood contained 103mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, which exceeded the prescribed 80mg limit.
Investigations found that Shi had consumed one glass of wine earlier that night while having dinner at the Grand Hyatt. She later drank two gin and tonic cocktails at the hotel’s nightclub.
Just last month, Shi pleaded guilty to obstructing peak hour traffic along Orchard Road after getting into a verbal dispute with a bus driver who honked at her.
In March this year, Shi was also sentenced to four weeks’ jail and was disqualified from driving for six months for assaulting a BMW driver following a traffic dispute in 2014. She has appealed against the sentence and is due to appear in the High Court on Friday for the hearing.
Shi, who is represented by lawyers S Balamurugan and Partheban Pandiyan, will be sentenced once her appeal is heard.