SINGAPORE: A man who drove his car into the waters off Sentosa Cove in 2017 while under the influence of amphetamine and methamphetamine was on Thursday (Jan 10) sentenced to almost a year in jail and banned from driving for two years.
Lim Jin Ping, 37, had driven his white Toyota Voxy off a walkway and into the waters at Cove Drive on Aug 25, 2017. Videos of his antics were widely circulated at that time.
The court heard that Lim, a father of three, had gone for a drive because he was feeling frustrated over several personal matters, including his father not allowing him to use a solar panel at home to test a business concept.
The former Grab driver drove from his home in Potong Pasir to Sentosa, where he crashed through the entrance gantry barriers without stopping.
He later drove against the flow of traffic and hit a Sentosa Ranger, a security officer on the island.
Lim did not stop and instead continued barrelling down the roads until he reached W Singapore, where he drove on a pathway beside the hotel and down a flight of steps towards the marina and into the waters.
The ranger and his partner, who had been in pursuit of him, called for divers to help.
Trained diver David Roberts, whose ship was docked nearby, responded to the call. He dove into the sea, breaking a car window with a stone and pulled Lim out.
Roberts was later given a Community Lifesaver Award by the Singapore Civil Defence Force.
Lim was taken to hospital, and amphetamine and methamphetamine was found in his urine sample.
Lim later admitted that he had smoked amphetamines before going for a drive that day. He said he took the drug regularly and had previously been admitted to the Institute of Mental Health for drug-induced psychosis.
His drugged joyride cost Sentosa Development Corporation S$6,801.11 in repairs.
Lim pleaded guilty in November to charges including voluntarily causing hurt, consuming drugs and committing mischief.
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The prosecution had asked for a stiffer sentence of at least 16 months' and four weeks' jail.
His joyride on the pathway and flight of steps next to W Singapore "endangered the personal safety of pedestrians who would not expect to see a vehicle barrelling down the pathway towards them", said Deputy Public Prosecutor Yang Ziliang.
He urged the judge to give no weight to Lim's defence of being a first-time offender, saying that he had an established pattern of drug consumption.
District Judge Kessler Soh sentenced him on Thursday to 11 months and four weeks in jail, along with a two-year driving ban that will take effect when he is released from prison.
His car was ordered to be returned to him.