JOHOR BAHRU, April 13 (Bernama) — The High Court here today sentenced a female clerk to six years’ jail and fined RM6,000 after finding her guilty of reckless driving which caused the death of eight teenage cyclists five years ago.
Judge Datuk Abu Bakar Katar ordered the 27 years old woman, to serve the jail sentence from today.
She was also disqualified from driving for three years and must serve another six months in jail if she failed to pay the fine.
In his judgment, the judge said the defence failed to raise any reasonable doubt against the prosecution’s case which had clearly proved the essence of the offence.
“The woman’s act of driving recklessly or dangerously has resulted in the loss of eight lives. In the sentencing, this court follows a precedent which takes into account the number of victims involved,” he said.
Today’s decision set aside the Magistrate’s Court’s decision on Oct 10 last year to acquit and discharge the woman of the charge.
However, upon appeal from the prosecution, the High Court had, in February 2021, ordered the woman to enter her defence.
Abu Bakar, when reading his decision in allowing the appeal, said the court was satisfied that all the essence of the offence under Section 41 (1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 had been successfully proven.
He said the trial court had erred when it failed to decide whether the woman’s defence in her unsworn statement was a mere denial or an after-thought.
“In her defence, the woman said that she did not see the group of cyclists at the scene and that there was another vehicle that hit the victims and sped away. This version was never raised by the respondent during the prosecution case,” he said.