SINGAPORE — Canadian national David James Roach, who committed the 2016 robbery of a Standard Chartered Bank branch in Singapore, will not be caned as part of his sentence.
In a media release on Sunday (25 July), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that the sentence was remitted as of Saturday. The move is in line with a pre-existing agreement that guaranteed the 31-year-old would not be subject to corporal punishment in Singapore after he was extradited here from the UK in March last year.
"It was necessary for the Singapore government to provide this assurance to the UK government, or the UK would not have permitted the extradition. Extraditing Roach to Singapore to face justice for his crimes was our top priority," said MHA.
On the advice of Singapore's Cabinet, the remittance was granted by President Halimah Yacob using her powers under Article 22P(1) of the Constitution. MHA noted that the Singapore government has "thus fulfilled the assurance given to the UK government" and that no alternative punishment would be imposed on Roach in lieu of the remitted caning sentence.
Roach robbed a Standard Chartered Bank brach at Holland Village of $30,000 on 7 July 2016. He fled to Thailand the next day and was later arrested at a hostel in Bangkok.
As Singapore does not have an extradition treaty with Thailand, he was deported to the United Kingdom and arrived in London on 11 January 2018. Roach was finally extradited from the UK and arrived in Singapore on 17 March last year to face robbery and money laundering charges.
On 7 July this year he pleaded guilty at the State Courts to one count of robbery and one count of money laundering, and was sentenced to five years' jail along with six strokes of the cane.