SINGAPORE: A man without a driving licence wanted to take his family out, so he bought identification details from chat app Telegram that allowed him to rent a car.
But he was high on pain and cough medicines that he had deliberately consumed, and got into multiple accidents, one after another.
He also went to supermarkets to steal tins of milk powder, using an empty stroller in one instance, and later sold the milk on the Carousell online platform.
Singaporean Goh Zheng Hui, 31, was sentenced on Wednesday (Mar 8) to three years and one month’s jail and a fine of S$1,000. He was also banned from driving for five years.
He pleaded guilty to 12 charges including driving without a licence, driving while under the influence of drugs, failing to stop after an accident, theft and cheating the GetGo carsharing service. Another 10 charges were considered in sentencing.
On Dec 1, 2021, Goh wanted to rent a car to take his wife and two children, then aged eight months old and six years old, out.
As he had no driving licence, he bought account details for GetGo from a public group on Telegram.
The account had been set up in the name of a jobless man who had sold details from his Singpass digital identity for a loan of S$1,000.
The account already had several other cardholders’ details saved in it, and Goh used these to pay for the carsharing rental fees.
He then drove his family to the Geylang area, where he deliberately took pain medication and a cough mixture containing the drug codeine, to get high.
Goh’s wife saw that he was sleepy and could not keep proper control of his car.
While driving in Geylang, he mounted a kerb before colliding into and uprooting a lamppost with a police camera on it.
The lamppost fell onto the signboard of a hotpot shop and short-circuited the electricity of the shop, exposing the lamppost’s livewire.
In the collision, the car plate fell off.
Goh reversed to get away, but collided with a stationary car. He then sped off and hit a taxi, hurting the driver.
His wife felt that she and the children were not safe in the car, so she got her husband to stop the vehicle. Goh and his family then took a taxi home.
He was later arrested in a stupor, and hospitalised as he had an unsteady gait, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.
Soon after being released on bail, Goh again sought to rent a car, paying S$300 in cash to rent a GetGo account.
He again drove to Geylang, where he drank cough syrup and jabbed codeine into his arm.
When driving home in the wee hours of Dec 7, 2021, Goh drove recklessly and went through a centre divider of a two-way road along Kaki Bukit Avenue 1, uprooting 10 portions of guard railings and mounting the kerb on the opposite side.
Police officers who came across the accident spotted Goh walking away from the vehicle and shouted at him, but Goh began to flee.
The officers gave chase and caught up when Goh lost his balance and fell down. He said he was cold and in pain, and was again arrested and hospitalised.
THE MILK OFFENCES
After being released on bail again, Goh began stealing milk powder. On Dec 14, 2021, he stole eight tins of milk powder worth S$474.70 from an NTUC supermarket in Ang Mo Kio, placing them in empty bags.
He sold all eight tins on Carousell for S$200.
On Jan 3, 2022, Goh went to a Sheng Siong supermarket in Ang Mo Kio with an empty baby stroller.
He placed 12 tins of milk powder worth S$979.80 in the stroller and a basket, and left the store without paying.
When an assistant manager at the supermarket spotted Goh, he shouted at him to stop. Goh then abandoned all the stolen items and walked away.
The prosecutor said Goh was last sentenced to three months’ jail in 2017 for stealing maternity and infantcare products.
He has other past convictions including robbery with hurt and drug-related offences.
Goh had no lawyer. He told the judge he had been in remand for 14 months, and had the time to reflect and think about everything he did.
“I’m really very remorseful for all the cases I have done, I hope you will be lenient on me and if possible, can give me lighter sentence as I have three young children outside. I wish to reunite with them,” said Goh.
He said this has been a lesson for him.
The judge said the case involved a string of very serious offending, and that the sentences would have to reflect that.