SINGAPORE: A man who spent 13 years on the run after slashing a man at a 7-Eleven store was arrested this year after he used a copy of another man's identification card to obtain medical services.
For his crimes, 58-year-old James Nalla Rajan Naidu Adhiseshan was sentenced to jail on Tuesday (Jun 25) for 18 months.
Naidu was first arrested in 2006 after he got into a dispute with a newspaper vendor at a 7-Eleven store.
Naidu, who had smelled of alcohol, had argued with the victim and slashed him with a blade he kept in his wallet, according to court documents.
He was arrested, but absconded before he could be charged in court and deliberately hid from the authorities.
FUGITIVE WENT TO POLYCLINIC USING ANOTHER MAN'S IDENTIFICATION
Eleven years later, Naidu fell off his bicycle and needed medical attention.
He went to Sengkang Polyclinic on Aug 14, 2017, and presented a photocopy of an NRIC belonging to a prison inmate, Chandran Sinathanmby, who was in jail at the time.
Court documents did not specify if Naidu knew Chandran or how he acquired Chandran's NRIC.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Chew Xin Ying told the court that Chandran had lost his NRIC "many years ago" and Naidu had somehow obtained a copy of it, adding his own address on top.
Armed with the altered document, Naidu registered as a patient at Sengkang Polyclinic under Chandran's name and told a doctor that he had fallen from a bike and hit his knee. He was also treated for a sore throat, cough and runny nose.
Naidu visited the polyclinic several more times that month, receiving among other things a blood test and a referral to Changi General Hospital (CGH) for an abnormal liver function test.
After CGH received Naidu's referral, it conducted a check and found that the real Chandran was in jail at the time and could not have visited the polyclinic.
CGH informed the polyclinic, which lodged a police report.
Three months later in November 2017, Naidu was at home when the battery of his electric bike caught fire.
He was subsequently taken to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for breathing difficulties and was warded for one night, but left without paying the bill. Again, he used the photocopy of Chandran's NRIC for registration.
NAIDU BUMPS INTO THE MAN WHOSE IC HE WAS USING
Naidu's 13-year run from the law finally came to an end in February this year when he visited Sengkang General Hospital (SKGH) on the same day as Chandran.
Chandran, who had been released from prison by that time, had received an SMS from SKGH about an orthopaedic surgery appointment on Feb 25.
He turned up at the hospital, where a doctor asked him about a foot fracture. Chandran was surprised, as his foot was not fractured, and he had not visited SKGH before.
The doctor advised him to lodge a police report.
At the hospital, Chandran also bumped into Naidu, who was in a wheelchair.
Seeing that he was wheelchair-bound, Chandran offered to help Naidu with his registration.
When Naidu's queue number was called, Chandran wheeled him to the registration counter, and Naidu handed the photocopy of Chandran's NRIC to the hospital employee.
Chandran then realised that Naidu was using a copy of his NRIC. He alerted the hospital staff, who called the police.
Naidu tried to run away, but was detained by hospital security and finally remanded on Feb 27.
Naidu pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two charges of cheating by personation and another of voluntarily causing hurt using a dangerous weapon. Another four charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.
His lawyer told the court that Naidu was remorseful and pleading for leniency.
For each charge of cheating by personation, Naidu could have been jailed for up to five years, fined, or both.