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HomesingaporeMan lied to police about neck pain despite not being in car...

Man lied to police about neck pain despite not being in car when it was hit by another driver, gets jail

SINGAPORE: A man who was standing by his car when another driver reversed into his vehicle lied to the police, to a doctor and in an insurance claim report that his neck was hurt from the accident.

Chai Wen Hin, 29, was sentenced to two days’ jail on Monday (Oct 23), after pleading guilty to one count of giving false information to a public servant.

The court heard that Chai was standing behind his parked car along Park Crescent at about 1pm on May 11, 2021.

A 72-year-old man, Mr Ho Jin Sam, purportedly reversed his vehicle into Chai’s parked car and allegedly refused to give his contact number to Chai.

The next day, Chai went to see a doctor and obtained four days’ medical leave. He told the doctor that he was in a stationary car when the accident occurred, and that he was wearing his seatbelt.

He said he had pain in his neck after the accident.

He then went to a police centre and lodged a police report of the traffic accident. In his police report, he stated that he was waiting for a friend at the accident location when Mr Ho’s vehicle reversed into his front bumper.

“I alighted and went to his car as it (seemed) that he was about to drive off. He informed me that he did not know that his car had collided (with) mine,” said Chai.

He claimed that he had asked for Mr Ho’s particulars but was allowed only to take a picture of his plate number.

Chai told the police that his vehicle was slightly damaged, with a loose front bumper and dented licence plate. He stated that the impact “made my neck feel uncomfortable on the right side”.

He then made an accident report to the General Insurance Association, in order to make an insurance claim against Mr Ho for the damage caused to his car.

In the report, he answered “no – claiming third party” in response to the question: “Are you claiming under your own insurance policy for repair to your vehicle?”

In the report, he said he had a neck injury and felt pain.

The prosecutor said Chai’s claim of neck pain was false.

“Given that he was outside his vehicle at the time of collision, he was not injured by the collision,” said the prosecutor. 

Closed-circuit television footage showed that Chai was standing outside his vehicle at the time.

When the traffic police investigation officer realised that false information had been given, he questioned Chai on Jul 5, 2021.

Chai retracted the false report and made an addendum to his General Insurance Association report to say he had not been injured.

The prosecutor said that Chai’s false statement would have caused the traffic police to initiate investigations into the accident, and Mr Ho may have been faced with investigations such as for careless driving.

Chai was represented by the Public Defender’s Office, who said he had never intended to make a false injury claim against Mr Ho, whether insurance or otherwise.

The prosecutor sought at least five days’ jail, saying that the lie was maintained for about two months and that there was no evidence Chai would have recanted his false version of events if he had not been confronted.

For giving false information to a public servant, he could have been jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$5,000 (US$3,642), or both.

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