SINGAPORE: A man who caused the death of a motorcyclist, and cajoled his friend into lying for him to escape punishment, was sentenced to 30 months’ jail on Thursday.
35—year—old Sivabalan Suppiah, who is self—employed, was also disqualified from driving for 12 years.
Suppiah was found guilty of one count of causing the death of 51—year—old Jalal Abdul Rahman by driving dangerously, and another count of intentionally perverting the course of justice.
In sentencing, a district judge berated Suppiah for "preying on the concern and kindness of his friends" and called his conduct "abhorrent and repugnant."
On March 7, 2010, Suppiah was traveling at a speed of 91 kilometres per hour (km/h) along Upper Aljunied Road towards Upper Serangoon Road.
This exceeded the 50 km/hour limit for the road he was on.
Suppiah lost control of his car when he was negotiating a left bend and swerved into the opposite traffic lane.
He then collided with the victim’s motorcycle, causing the victim to be flung to the side of the road.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Suppiah sustained injures and was warded for two days at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
It was then Suppiah tried coercing his friends to be false witnesses when they visited him in hospital.
Suppiah painted a false picture of how the accident happened and persuaded his friend Bryan Tiven Feroz Sandirasegaran to go along with it.
The ruse involved Bryan lying to the police that he had witnessed the victim’s motorcycle entering Suppiah’s lane instead.
Although Bryan eventually agreed to the ruse, the plan was discovered by authorities later.
In mitigation, the court heard that Suppiah was remorseful and suffers from a major depressive disorder.
However, this cut no ice with the judge who said Suppiah showed "absolutely no remorse and no regard for the deceased’s family by shifting all the blame to the deceased."
The judge said Suppiah’s post—accident conduct is "clearly deplorable", and added that he had "absolutely no qualms about getting his friends into trouble for selfish reasons."
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