A former Grab driver and drug abuser who led security officers on a car chase around Sentosa before crashing into the sea was jailed 11 months and four weeks on Thursday (10 January).
Lim Jin Ping, 37, was also disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for two years. He had earlier pleaded guilty to one count each of causing hurt and drug consumption, and two counts of mischief.
Three counts of mischief, and one count each of criminal trespass and committing a rash act to endanger the personal safety of others, were taken into consideration for his sentencing.
Consumed drugs before driving
On 25 August 2017, Lim had been facing a number of personal issues – including being upset at his father’s rejection of a business idea – when he decided to go for a drive in his white Toyota Voxy, which he used for work.
Lim had earlier consumed drugs, including amphetamines and methamphetamine.
At about 2pm that afternoon, he broke through the gantry of Sentosa Gateway. A few minutes later, he crashed his vehicle through another barrier and drove onto Siloso Beach View.
Lim also drove through another barrier along Tanjong Beach Walk.
At one point he hit a Sentosa Ranger but still continued driving. The ranger and his colleague then gave chased to Lim on their motorcycles.
At around 2.10pm, Lim drove along Cove Drive against the flow of traffic. He squeezed past a mini roadblock that had been set up by Sentosa Rangers.
He then made a right turn at the entrance of the W Singapore Hotel and drove along on a footpath beside the hotel towards the marina. Lim then drove down a flight of steps, puncturing his right front tire.
Despite the damage to his vehicle, Lim drove on through bollard chains and into the sea.
Accused rescued from sinking car
The captain of a ship berthed nearby saw Lim’s sinking car. David Roberts, a 36-year-old South African national, dived into the water and pulled Lim out of the car after breaking its back window with a rock.
Lim was taken to a hospital and his urine sample tested positive for drugs.
He had previously been admitted to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) in October 2012 and May 2015 for drug-induced psychosis.
Lim, who started consuming drugs in his 20s, admitted to smoking about 2.5g of amphetamines every two weeks.
He started smoking amphetamine daily in the week before his offences and would experience psychotic symptoms, including hallucinations and delusions.
However, he was assessed to have not been of unsound mind at the time of the offences.
The ranger who was hit by Lim’s car suffered bruises and a back sprain. He was given one week of medical leave.
In total, Lim caused damages amounting to $6,801.11.
Mental conditions not a mitigating factor: DPP
The prosecution sought a sentence of at leat 16 months and four weeks’ jail for Lim, along with a disqualification of two years.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Yan Ziliang said Lim had endangered the safety of other road users, including pedestrians, who would not have expected to see a vehicle barrelling the pathway towards them.
“It is fortuitous that no further harm actualised,” said Yan.
The DPP added that no mitigating weight should be given to Lim’s psychiatric conditions, which include stimulant use disorder and persistent depressive disorder, as there was “no evidence that they affected his impulse control or his ability to choose whether to consume drugs”.