Jail, caning for drug abuser who rammed into pedestrian during high-speed police chase, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper
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Jail, caning for drug abuser who rammed into pedestrian during high-speed police chase

A man who led police on a high-speed chase through Toa Payoh was on Wednesday sentenced to more than nine years' jail for drug, traffic and other offences.

A female pedestrian was hit by the car Vaswani Richard Prakash drove in the incident on Feb 12, 2021.

She suffered multiple injuries, including a fracture to her left ankle.

Vaswani, 36, had on Sept 14 pleaded guilty to a range of offences including drug abuse, causing grievous hurt while driving in a dangerous manner and driving while under disqualification.

The court heard that at the time of the high-speed chase, Vaswani was serving a remission order, which was in force until Aug 18, 2021.

This was after his release from jail for an undisclosed offence on Oct 23, 2019.

As part of the remission order, he was supposed to keep himself out of trouble.

Instead he was arrested on June 8, 2020, after a woman he was with in a car tried to avoid a police roadblock.

The court heard that Vaswani was a passenger in the car.

The woman, who was driving the car, did not have a driving licence.

After spotting the roadblock at a slip road into Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, the woman reversed the car.

It struck a kerb and police arrested her soon after. Court documents did not disclose the outcome of her case.

Vaswani was uncooperative and aggressive, and had to be arrested.

He submitted his urine samples at a police station and they were found to contain traces of methamphetamine.

The high-speed chase happened while he was out on bail after this incident.

Police had noticed a black Volkswagen speeding along the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) at 11.55pm. Vaswani was at the wheels.

When he noticed the police car following him, he accelerated to around 120kmh.

He was driving without a licence and had illicit drugs inside the vehicle.

With him were two passengers - Sharifah Mohamed Wasil, 33, and Muhammad Haikal Ahdam Shah, 27.

Haikal was catching a lift, to return to a halfway house where he stayed.

In a video recording of the chase, which was played in court, the Volkswagen can be seen weaving through traffic along the PIE and cutting across multiple lanes at high speeds.

The car eventually turned into Toa Payoh, driving through nine red lights within three minutes as it darted through traffic.

The police called for reinforcements as the chase continued.

At a pedestrian crossing near Block 111 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, Vaswani ran another red light, but the car struck the pedestrian.

He continued driving, but soon lost control of the vehicle before it collided with a road divider.

A screengrab from a video showing the black Volkswagen after it crashed into a road divider along Lorong 2 Toa Payoh in 2021. PHOTO: SG ROAD VIGILANTE/FACEBOOK
 

Vaswani and his passengers then fled in different directions on foot. Sharifah was arrested, while the other two managed to get away.

Methamphetamine and other drugs were also seized from the vehicle.

Vaswani was arrested after a three-day manhunt, while Haikal was found after he showed up at a hospital to seek treatment for a leg injury.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Goh Qi Shuen told the court that Vaswani had taken the car from a friend without permission.

On Wednesday, Vaswani was sentenced to nine years, six months, 10 weeks and 182 days' jail.

He was fined $3,000, ordered to receive 12 strokes of the cane and disqualified from obtaining all classes of driving licences for eight years from his date of release.

Vaswani also has to spend another 228 days behind bars, which is half of his remaining remission period of 456 days.

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