4 weeks' jail for man who drove rashly to give wife a 'jolt' during quarrel and nearly hit cop with car

Christine Tan
The Straits Times
July 11, 2023

During a heated argument with his wife, a man wanted to frighten her by driving rashly, eventually crashing his car into a kerb and nearly hitting a policewoman.

Chinese national Chang Qing, 45, was sentenced on Tuesday to four weeks’ jail, and was also disqualified from driving for two years. He intends to appeal.

He had previously pleaded guilty to one charge of driving in a rash manner likely to cause hurt.

Court documents stated that on Jan 9, 2022, Chang and his wife, Ms Lin Jin, were at a coffee shop at Block 422 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3.

After having a few drinks, they had a dispute, and were separated by other coffee shop patrons.

A man saw the incident and called the police. Sergeant Zulaikha Mohd Nasir and her colleague from Ang Mo Kio South Neighbourhood Police Centre were sent to the scene.

Before the officers arrived, Chang and his wife decided to go home, but they continued quarrelling in the car.

When Chang exited the car park next to Block 422, he stopped the car for a few seconds, then accelerated and drove across both lanes of Ang Mo Kio Street 42. The car then collided into the kerb on the opposite side of the road.

Chang later admitted to the police that he had been frustrated with his wife and wanted to cause a “jolt” to her.

He had driven like that deliberately to frighten his wife, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran.

At the time, Sgt Zulaikha and her colleague were travelling in a police car towards Block 422. They saw the collision and sounded the police car’s horn.

Sgt Zulaikha then alighted and approached Chang’s car. Upon seeing that he was reversing towards the car park, she shouted “stop, stop” and ran in front of his car to stop him from moving further.

She then ran to the driver’s side and knocked on his window to get his attention. But Chang drove the car forward and made a right turn, causing her to jump out of the car’s path to avoid being hit.

The accused admitted during police investigations that he had seen someone in the corner of his eye, but had continued to drive away regardless.

Said DPP Thiagesh: “The accused had known that there was a real risk he would cause hurt to the victim, and yet unreasonably took that risk.”

Chang then drove off. Police later caught up with him in Woodlands, where he was arrested after failing a breathalyser test.

The prosecutor said if Sgt Zulaikha had not jumped out of the car’s path, she could have been seriously injured. He asked for the accused to be jailed for eight to 12 weeks and disqualified from driving for two years.

In mitigation, lawyer Thomas Tham said his client was stressed by his wife’s incessant scolding, and his sense of judgment was distorted.

“He did not commit the act with deliberate disregard of the enforcement of the law by the police officer,” said Mr Tham, noting that his client was a first-time offender.

Chang is currently out on $2,000 bail while waiting to appeal.

The Straits Times

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