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Crime

Ian Poh
Monday, Jul 28, 2014

Crime

Jail, driving ban for death by rash act

The Straits Times | Ian Poh | Monday, Jul 28, 2014

Liu Zhongwei, 32, accused for causing death of his girlfriend by doing rash act not amounting to culpable homeicide at Bird Park Drive.

Not wanting his girlfriend to follow him home after a tiff, Liu Zhongwei locked his car after getting in. But he could not drive off as she was standing in front of the vehicle.

The former crane operator began to inch his Toyota Wish towards her, forcing her to move sideways. He then did a swift right turn and got out of the parking spot.

In doing so, the left side of the car side-swiped Ms Li Minna, 32, who fell to the ground, injuring her head.

This incident happened around 9.30pm on July 14 last year.

Ms Li died in hospital four days later.

During a six-day trial in May and June, Liu, a China national, insisted that he had checked both the front of the car and the sides before moving off.

He said he did not know how Ms Li, also a China national, ended up on the ground of the open-air carpark in Bird Park Drive, on that fateful night.

But yesterday, he was convicted of rashly causing Ms Li's death and jailed for 10 months, after a district court viewed camera footage and heard evidence from an independent witness.

He was also banned from driving for eight years.

Liu was also found guilty of failing to stop after the accident and failing to make a police report, as well as for removing the car without permission from police.

Together, the three offences resulted in another two weeks' jail for him.

He was, however, acquitted of getting a witness to keep information from the police.

On the night of the incident, he was at a karaoke lounge in The Village @ Jurong Hill when he was confronted by Ms Li. They went to a carpark nearby, where they had a quarrel.

Ms Li followed him to the car and got in when he unlocked it. But he duped her into getting out by walking away. He then got in and locked the doors, starting the chain of events that led to her death.

For causing death by a rash act, he could have been jailed for up to five years and fined.

Liu is appealing against the court's decision.

pohian@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on July 26, 2014.
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