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The Straits Times
Feb 23, 2023
A man who altered the licence plate of a Bentley his father drove, in an incident where a school security guard was threatened, was fined $2,600 on Thursday.
He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Glynn Neo Jia had admitted to affixing the number plate of another car on the luxury vehicle. The 28-year-old also pleaded guilty to one count of permitting the vehicle to be used by his father without proper insurance coverage.
His father, Neo Hong Chye, had threatened to run down a 62-year-old security officer outside Red Swastika School in Bedok North.
The 61-year-old was jailed for eight weeks in October 2022 after admitting to one count of causing hurt by performing a rash act. He was also fined $600 for driving the vehicle without insurance coverage and disqualified from holding all classes of driving licences for 12 months.
A video of the incident in January 2022 went viral on social media.
Land Transport Authority prosecutor Darren Toh said that during investigations of the rash act, it was revealed that the registration number on the Bentley was assigned to a BMW car that was deregistered in May 2021.
Mr Toh said an application had been made to keep the registration number, and it was approved.
But there was no application made for the vehicle number to be transferred to and used for the Bentley, which was owned by Neo Times, a car trading company.
Glynn Neo, the sole director of the company, had bought the Bentley in December 2021 and changed the number plate of the vehicle for a photo shoot.
On Jan 11, 2022, his father took the keys to the Bentley that were placed in the common area of the family’s residence, and used the car to drive his granddaughter to Red Swastika School.
The security guard stopped the older Neo from driving into the school’s premises, but he moved the car forward, causing the guard to stumble backwards and nearly lose his balance.
Mr Toh said it was understood that members of the Neo family did not need to ask for consent to use the cars in the residence.
He added that the vehicle had insurance that covered its use for only motor trade purposes, including for test drives, but not for private use.
Furthermore, Neo Hong Chye was not an assigned driver registered with the insurance policy at the time of the incident.
In mitigation, defence lawyer Ng Kai Ling said Glynn Neo was not aware that his father had taken the keys to the car.
She said her client would not have granted permission for the older Neo to drive the car if his father had alerted him.
Ms Ng added that Glynn Neo did not alter the licence plate of the car with the intention to deceive anyone or to use the car on the road. Instead, he changed the licence plate only to take photos of the car to sell it, as the original number plate was not as “desirable” as the one he replaced it with.
“There was nothing to deceive anyone about. Glynn only wanted to promote the sale of the car. Being entrusted with running the car dealership business, Glynn was eager to prove himself to his father and siblings,” she said, adding that his actions were not sinister.
For affixing the number plate of another car on the Bentley, he could have been fined up to $5,000 or jailed for up to 12 months, or both.
For allowing a vehicle to be used without insurance, he could have been jailed for up to three months or fined up to $1,000, or both, and could also have been banned from driving for 12 months.