AGC In Discussion With Lorry Driver Who Was Jailed 2 More Days Due To Admin Error

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There are days where you have Zoom meetings, and then for some reason, the screen suddenly freezes while someone is talking.

‘Hello? The screen froze. Can someone help?’, someone types in the Zoom chat.

While that person is typing, the one who was told that the screen froze is jabbing on every possible button on the laptop, frantically trying to rectify the problem.

Image: Giphy

At this moment, he realised that his cat accidentally pressed on the router’s off button.

He then takes a few minutes to coax the cat to come down from the router. Wiping off his sweat from this emergency, he replies in the chat, ‘Sorry ah, just now got a technical error. Should be ok now.’

Meeting continues.

While such errors don’t cause too much inconvenience in our lives, there are others which may impact a person’s psychological state.

Mr Teo Seng Tiong, who was imprisoned for two extra days in prison, experienced fear while behind bars.

His lawyer, Mr Tan Hee Joek, mentioned that ‘those extra two days were especially agonising for him (Mr Teo) as he lived in uncertainty and fear in a small cell for four’.

Safeguards put in place

According to Channel NewsAsia, the AGC is currently in discussion with Mr Teo’s lawyer. As the discussions are confidential, no further details were shared by the AGC.

However, it was noted that the State Courts have taken immediate steps due to Mr Teo’s incident.

They are currently reviewing work processes governing fines for cases that have gone on appeal to the High Court.

In addition, the AGC has also implemented a few safeguards to prevent such incidents from happening again.

They are currently conducting additional checks and an internal review of the incident. Appropriate measures will then be taken after the outcome of the internal review.

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“While the default imprisonment term imposed by the court was three days, the actual default imprisonment term served by Mr Teo was two days, due to one-third of the term being remitted,” said the State Courts, adding that he was released on Aug 24, based on Channel NewsAsia’s report.

Imprisoned for two more days due to administrative error

A quick recap on this incident if you guys are wondering why Mr Teo was behind bars:

Mr Teo, 59, had swerved his lorry and knocked a cyclist off the road in 2018. He did not report the incident within 24 hours after it happened.

He was sentenced to seven weeks’ jail, a fine of $500 and banned from driving for two years due to this incident.

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But on the day of his release, Mr Teo was told he couldn’t be released.

Reason? Mr Teo did not pay the $500 fine.


After further investigations, it was found out that Mr Teo’s wife had already paid the fine on July 20, and that it was an administrative error which resulted in Mr Teo having to serve two more days of sentence.

The State Courts officer in charge reportedly did not update the warrant of commitment and the State Courts’ case management system. As a result, the system did not indicate that the fine was paid.

The State Courts have issued a letter of apology to Mr Teo through the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) for its negligence.