Singapore

Jail for cop who drove negligently, killing elderly pedestrian in accident

SINGAPORE - A policeman driving a car failed to slow down or stop before making a left turn, hitting an elderly pedestrian who later died in hospital.

After hitting her, he stopped his car "for around three seconds" before driving forward again, running the car over the woman, the court heard.

Norazlan Abdul Aziz, now 44, a station inspector, was on Friday (Oct 22) sentenced to two weeks' jail and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for five years, after he pleaded guilty to causing the death of Ms Lee Swee Huak, 84, by negligent driving.

In an earlier statement, the police said that he was still in service, adding: "Should he be convicted in court subsequently, SPF (Singapore Police Force) will commence disciplinary proceedings against him."

Court documents did not mention if the Singaporean policeman was on the job or off duty at the time of the fatal accident.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Claire Poh said that Norazlan had exited a multi-storey carpark at Block 808 Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1 and was driving along a service road near Block 807D towards the main road shortly before the accident on Sept 21, 2017.

Ms Lee was crossing a junction at the service road and Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1, but Norazlan failed to keep a proper lookout and hit her around 4.20pm.

DPP Poh said: "If the accused had stopped, he would have seen the deceased... the deceased was walking at a normal pace.

"The deceased fell on the road in front of the car. The accused then stopped the car for around three seconds before driving forward again. As a result, both the car's front and rear left tyres ran over the deceased."

The police were alerted and Ms Lee was taken to the National University Hospital where she died of multiple injuries about two hours later.

Defence lawyer Patrick Fernandez said that his client joined the SPF in 1999 as a corporal and rose through the ranks to become a station inspector.

The lawyer added that in the last decade, Norazlan had been an investigation officer who specialised in property-related crimes.

In his mitigation plea, Mr Fernandez said that his client is truly remorseful and deeply regrets the loss of Ms Lee's life.

Pleading for a high fine, the lawyer added: "Immediately after the accident, our client stopped and did his best to render assistance to the victim, including calling the ambulance and cooperated with police investigations."

Norazlan's bail was set at $10,000 on Friday and he was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on Oct 25 to begin serving his sentence.

For causing a death by negligent driving, an offender can be jailed for up to two years and fined.

ACCIDENTSCOURT & CRIME