Man who hit girlfriend with car: He showed no remorse

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Man who hit girlfriend with car: He showed no remorse
Liu Zhongwei, 32, accused for causing death of his girlfriend by doing rash act not amounting to culpable homeicide at Bird Park Drive.

He hit and killed his girlfriend by driving his car rashly at a carpark after they had an argument.

What made it worse was that he fled the scene and repeatedly lied to the police about his involvement.

"He showed no remorse," said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Zhong Zewei yesterday.

Even after he was charged in court, Liu Zhongwei, 32, a Chinese national, did not plead guilty and had not demonstrated any remorse throughout the trial, said the DPP.

Liu hit and killed his girlfriend at a carpark at Bird Park Drive in July last year after an argument.

He drove into Ms Li Minna, 32, after he locked her out of the car. She had tried to stop him from driving away.

He then drove away before returning to the scene. By that time, the police had already started asking questions.

When they questioned Liu, he kept quiet about who he was. When investigators called him again later to ask, he told them he was not involved.

Liu was yesterday sentenced to 10½ months' jail and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for eight years.

He was found guilty of causing death by a rash act not amounting to culpable homicide, failing to stop after an accident, failing to make a police report and removal of his car without the authority of a police officer.

Another charge of intentionally obstructing the course of justice was dropped.

Said the DPP: "The failure to report and admit his role as well as to hand over his car impacted investigations."

"(Liu) was conscious of a very specific risk to the deceased, but acted in a manner wholly indifferent to her safety."

Liu's girlfriend is a Chinese national who had worked as a kindergarten teacher here.

On the night of the accident, she went to Tian Ya Hai Jiao karaoke lounge near the carpark to confront Liu, who had driven there with his friends. Both left together while locked in a heated argument, with Ms Li following Liu.

Liu then entered his Toyota Wish multi-purpose vehicle and locked the doors, knowing that his girlfriend wanted to follow him home in the car.

Seeing this, Ms Li stood in front of the car to prevent him from leaving. But Liu continued inching his car forwards.

This forced her to move to the front left corner of the car. Liu saw this opportunity to speed away, driving out of the carpark at a relatively fast speed, according to witness accounts and footage from a closed-circuit television.

His car side-swiped Ms Li, causing her to fall and suffer the injuries.

Liu knew that he was involved in an accident when he felt something hit his car. He stopped the car and opened the door to look towards the rear of his car.

When he saw Ms Li lying on the ground, he closed the door and drove to another side of the carpark before walking back to the scene.

SERIOUS INJURIES

Ms Li was later taken to the hospital. The collision left her in a coma, with serious injuries to her head, face and arms.

She died from her injuries in the National University Hospital five days after the accident.

In court, district judge Imran Abdul Hamid described Liu as "dishonest" and said that the evidence provided by witnesses, investigators and CCTV footages were "clear".

Said the judge: "The accident was (due to) a rash act based on objective evidence that the accused knew it was the victim who lay on the ground and that it could not have been anyone else other than the deceased."

Liu's lawyer, Mr K Jayakumar Naidu, said in mitigation that his client was a first-time offender. He filed for an appeal against the sentence. Liu could have been sentenced to a maximum of five years jail and fined for causing death by rash act.

He was released on an added bail of $7,000 on top of his current bail of $15,000.

ngjunsen@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on July 26, 2014.
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