Kukri-wielding man who hijacked and crashed car jailed and caned

Kukri-wielding man who hijacked and crashed car jailed and caned
File photo of a Nepalese kukri: Getty Images

He wielded a knife commonly associated with Gurkha soldiers and policemen to hijack a car from a stranger and sped off.

Indra Haiqal Azman Ali drove the stolen Honda Civic at up to 121km/h – more than twice the speed limit – toward Jurong West Street 24 before he lost control, causing the car to flip sideways and land in a field.

Indra, who is unemployed, later crawled out of the car and was found sitting on the grass with multiple injuries. He had to be brought to hospital for treatment.

The 27-year-old Singaporean was sentenced to three years and two weeks’ jail, and given 12 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to one count of robbery, and three charges of driving offences. These are driving without a license, without valid insurance, and reckless driving. Indra was also convicted on one count of stealing two drinks, which took place before he hijacked the car. One count of committing mischief by breaking a refrigerator glass to steal the drinks was taken into consideration for sentencing.

For the driving offences, Indra was disqualified from driving for 12 months.

All the offences was committed on the early morning of 8 May. Around 1am, Indra passed by Happy Shoppy minimart at Block 517 Jurong West Street 52 when he saw some drinks covered with a canvas sheet outside the store, which was closed at the time.

Feeling thirsty, Indra decided to steal some drinks by removing the canvas sheet. He then used his kukri, which is a Nepalese knife with a curved blade, to break the refrigerator’s glass panel. He pocketed two drinks, both of which were recovered from him after he crashed the car.

After stealing the drinks, Indra passed by a taxi stand opposite Lakeside MRT station when he spotted the victim, Vikesh Ram Tamil Arasan, 30, smoking together with two friends next to Vikesh’s car, which was parked at the taxi stand.

Indra approached the trio and shouted at them for Vikesh’s car keys. When that had no effect, Indra took out his kukri, which was in its cover, and bellowed at the men.

When the men still failed to react, Indra exposed the knife blade, alarming Vikesh, who handed over the car keys to him. Indra then entered the car and sped off. Vikesh and his two friends made a police report before tailing Indra in a taxi.

While making his getaway towards Jurong West Street 24, Indra, who did not have a driving license, exceeded the speed limit of 50km/h. He negotiated bends at speeds of between 80km/h and 121km/h.

But Indra was unable to sustain the speed. He lost control of the car and rode up a pedestrian pavement and a field, causing it to flip sideways before landing in the centre of the field. Indra later crawled from the vehicle and was found sitting on the grass by the three men and police officers who arrived shortly after.

The car was badly wrecked as a result of the incident, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Sum Yun Qian.

Police officers arrested Indra and brought him to a hospital where he was found with rib and spine fractures.

Indra’s lawyer, Ismail Hamid, told the court that his client was under the influence of the drugs that he had consumed before the incident. According to the lawyer, his client is a “severe drug addict” who had been consuming drugs since he was a teenager and was remorseful for his actions.