State Courts say sorry to lorry driver who spent two extra days in jail due to officer's error

The State Courts have commenced an internal review.

Joshua Lee | September 03, 2020, 08:08 AM

The State Courts have apologised to a lorry driver who was made to spend two extra days in prison due to a error by a court officer.

The man, 59-year-old Teo Seng Tiong, was sentenced to seven weeks' jail and a fine of S$500 and banned from driving for two years.

This was after he was found guilty of swerving his lorry into a cyclist and failing to make a police report within 24 hours of the accident.

The incident happened at Pasir Ris and quickly went viral.

Served two extra days in jail as officer didn't update case management system

Along with his 7-week jail sentence, Teo was handed an extra 3-day imprisonment term if he fails to pay the S$500 fine.

Teo did pay the fine on July 20, the same day he started his imprisonment.

"However, the State Courts officer in charge of the case erroneously failed to update the warrant of commitment and the State Courts’ case management system to reflect that the fine had been paid," said the State Courts in a media statement, reported CNA.

The Singapore Prison Service asked the State Courts on August 21 and 22 if the fine had been paid. The State Courts said no because the case management system was not updated due to the error.

Teo hence served the extra jail term and was released on August 24. He ultimately served two extra days because one-third of the term was remitted.

The payment was only discovered after the Singapore Prison Service forwarded a letter from Teo's letter which contained the payment receipt.

The State Courts said they took immediate steps to review work processes and implement further safeguards. An internal review of the matter is ongoing.

"The State Courts deeply regret what has happened, and we have conveyed our letter of apology to Mr Teo through the Attorney-General’s Chambers."

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