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A 40-year-old Singaporean had gone to a police post to report a traffic accident. A police officer then realised he was wanted for evading urine drug tests. — iStock pic via TODAY
A 40-year-old Singaporean had gone to a police post to report a traffic accident. A police officer then realised he was wanted for evading urine drug tests. — iStock pic via TODAY

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SINGAPORE, July 26 — While reporting a traffic accident at a police post, a man wanted by the authorities for evading urine drug tests decided to flee because he suspected that he had been identified by the officer on duty.

Ignoring multiple warnings to stop, the man — who was carrying his two-month-old daughter — swung the infant with one hand and tossed her at the officer who managed to catch her.

After being charged and released on bail, he also drunkenly assaulted his wife at home in front of their two children.

For his actions, the 40-year-old Singaporean was jailed for one year and five months today. He cannot be named due to a court order to protect his child’s identity.

He pleaded guilty to two drug-related offences, along with one charge each of ill-treating a child and voluntarily causing hurt to a person with whom he was in an intimate relationship. One other charge was taken into consideration for sentencing.

Sensed something was amiss

The court heard that he was under a two-year drug supervision order from December 2018, but stopped turning up for his twice-weekly urine tests from July 2019 onwards.

On Jan 18, 2020, he went to Hong Kah North Neighbourhood Police Post with his wife and children to make a report over his company van.

When he handed over his identity card and driving licence to Sergeant Tan Wei Kang, who was manning the post, the officer screened his particulars and saw in the system that a police gazette had been issued against him.

Sergeant Tan discreetly made a first information report and asked for backup officers. He also sent text messages to his duty team leader that there was a wanted man there.

However, the man sensed something was amiss after observing the officer’s body language and decided to run away.

Two other police officers soon arrived and one of them escorted the man’s wife to the toilet, after she handed their daughter to her husband.

The man suddenly stood up, claiming the girl needed some fresh air, and opened the door to the police post.

The policemen followed him to a nearby public housing block, warning him to stop walking. They did not use force out of fear of the baby’s safety, the court heard.

When they got close to a lift lobby, Senior Staff Sergeant Mohamed Nasrudin Shahul Hameed held onto the man’s hand in a bid to stop him. Instead, he swung his daughter with his other hand towards Sergeant Tan’s direction and tossed her to the officer.

Video footage of this, captured by Sergeant Tan’s body-worn camera, was played in court.

The officer caught the girl and handed her to his colleague, before continuing to pursue the man through several blocks of flats. He was eventually arrested.

The infant did not suffer any injuries.

Slapped and punched wife

At his home on the evening of Jan 22 this year, the man drank half a bottle of rum in the bedroom before his wife woke up and told him to do it in the living room. He refused and they began arguing.

When she went to the living room with their children, he insisted that she return to the bedroom.

He then slapped her and punched her head multiple times, pushing her till her head struck the sofa’s metal frame.

She called the police and he tried to prevent this by taking away her mobile phone, but she managed to get through and held the line for the operator to listen to the commotion.

Police officers later arrived.

In mitigation, the man told District Judge Kamala Ponnampalam that he yearned to hold his child again and would not repeat his offences.

For ill-treatment of a child, he could have been jailed for up to eight years or fined up to S$8,000, or both.

Those convicted of causing hurt can be jailed for up to three months or fined up to S$5,000, or both. The punishment can be doubled for those who cause hurt to someone with whom they are in an intimate relationship. — TODAY

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