Singapore, Sep 27 (IANS) An Indian-origin man in Singapore has been sentenced to 11 and a half years after being convicted of robbery at a petrol station in 2017 and admitting to drug consumption and possession, the media reported on Friday.
Visvanathan Vadivelu, 50, had pleaded guilty to committing armed robbery at a Shell petrol station in Upper Bukit Timah Road in 2017. He had also admitted to two counts of drug consumption and one count of drug possession.
Vadivelu, who was unrepresented, told District Judge Kan Shuk Weng on Thursday that he was “mentally unwell” and he fled from the court on September 17 this year after he “heard voices” telling him to go home, according to the Straits Times.
His mother later alerted the police, who arrested him from his flat. Vadivelu was hauled back to court on September 19.
He told the judge on Thursday that he wanted to be “sentenced” to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). The judge replied that being sent to IMH was not a sentencing option.
Vadivelu robbed a petrol station on July 31, 2017, as he was “desperate for money”. He was unemployed at the time.
He was charged with armed robbery two days later and was out on bail when the police rearrested him on September 15, 2017, for suspected drug-related offences.
He had a packet of powdery substance which was later found to contain diamorphine or pure heroin. His urine samples also showed traces of the drug as well as methamphetamine, commonly known as Ice, the report said.
Vadivelu appeared in court on September 17 this year for his sentencing before absconding. The judge then issued a warrant of arrest against him.
Offenders convicted of armed robbery can be jailed for up to 10 years and given at least 12 strokes of the cane. Those over 50 years old cannot be caned.