Man jailed for getting into accidents without licence and using others' cars

·Senior Reporter
·4-min read
The roundabout at Marina at Keppel Bay. (PHOTO: Google Street View)
The roundabout at Marina at Keppel Bay. (PHOTO: Google Street View)

SINGAPORE — Despite failing his driving test, a man still decided to drive his mother’s boyfriend’s car and his cousin’s car without a licence.

Aloysius Tan Jia Ju, 24, got into accidents on both occasions, crashing into guard railings and colliding with a Grab car that had the right of way.

Tan, who works as a bartender, also stole from his grandmother, who had sheltered him after his mother threw him out of the house.

On Wednesday (26 January), he was jailed for six months and seven weeks, fined $2,500, and disqualified from driving for 30 months upon his release.

Tan pleaded guilty to eight charges, including driving without a licence, careless driving, and failing to stop and exchange particulars after an accident. He admitted to three other similar charges which were considered for his sentencing.

Lost control of car at AYE, crashed into railings

After Tan failed his driving test on 1 October 2019, he stopped his driving lessons.

On 8 August 2020, he took his mother’s boyfriend’s car keys without his consent, and drove to Block 496 Jurong West Street 41 via the Pan Island Expressway and Jurong Town Hall Road to meet some friends for dinner at a coffeeshop.

Tan left the coffeeshop at about 11pm and was driving along the right-most lane of Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) towards Marina Coastal Expressway when he lost control of the car.

The car’s in-vehicle camera showed that Tan swerved left and right before cutting across three lanes and colliding into three guard railings, uprooting them. The impact lifted the rear of Tan’s car into the air before it dropped down again.

A police officer alerted to the accident found that Tan had neither a licence nor insurance policy.

The guard railings cost $1,591.80 to fix. Tan made full restitution to the Land Transport Authority for the damage.

Knocked into Grab driver's car at Marina at Keppel Bay

On 30 January last year, Tan borrowed a car rented by his cousin. He did not tell his cousin that he had no licence, and that he had been charged in court over the AYE accident.

While driving out of a carpark and into the roundabout outside Marina at Keppel Bay, Tan failed to keep a lookout and collided into another car, driven by a Grab driver who had the right of way. The female Grab driver alighted from her car to check for damages, and saw a dent and scratch in the front-left passenger door.

Instead of alighting, Tan reversed his cousin’s car and drove off quickly. One of the Grab driver’s passengers took down Tan’s car plate number and handed it to the driver. The driver waited at the scene for 20 minutes but Tan did not return. The Grab driver then filed a police report.

After the accident, Tan's cousin discovered that the front bumper of the car was damaged but Tan denied getting into any accident. The cousin had to fork out $400 for the repairs.

Stole 71-year-old grandmother's jewellery to pay debt

Tan was later chased out by his mother and moved into his 71-year-old grandmother’s home, as he had nowhere else to go. The grandmother, a jeweller, refused to lend him money but let him stay and sleep in the same room.

Tan soon found out that the elderly woman’s jewelleries and valuables were kept in a drawer in her wardrobe. He decided to steal from her to settle a debt of around $12,000 that he took from a friend and a legal moneylender.

On three occasions between 16 January an 24 February last year, Tan pocketed $11,244 worth of jewellery. He would steal a few items each time and keep them for a few days within his clothes in the same wardrobe as his grandmother’s. He then sold the items at various pawnshops for $8,106.63.

The loot stolen included two gold rings left to the grandmother by her late father. These were not recovered.

Only one chain was recovered and Tan did not make any restitution.

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