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Chinese national convicted for causing girlfriend’s death has appeal dismissed
Date Posted: 28 April 2015, 19:13

SINGAPORE: A High Court judge has dismissed an appeal by the Chinese national who was found guilty by the State Courts for causing his girlfriend’s death after hitting her with his rented car.

After hearing arguments from both prosecution and defence, Justice Tay Yong Kwang threw out the appeal today against Liu Zhongwei’s sentence, having found “no reason to disagree” with District Judge Imran Hamid’s findings for the sentence.

Liu will begin serving his 10 months and two weeks imprisonment term on May 12.

Liu had claimed trial after he was charged in July 2013. He was faced with five charges for causing the death of his girlfriend, Li Minna, who was also from his hometown in Jilin, China, on July 14, 2013.

Liu had knocked down Li as he drove out of the parking lot of a karaoke centre, causing her to sustain head injuries, from which she died shortly after.

The court heard during the trial last year that Li had gone to the karaoke centre to confront Liu, after he failed to answer her calls. She then followed Liu out to the carpark, where he quickly got into the car, locked the doors and drove off, hitting her along the way.

Acting for Liu, lawyer Kertar Singh said that the 31-year-old’s actions should be considered as one of negligence, and not rashness, as Liu had insisted that he did not know he had hit Ms Li with his car at the parking lot.

“(Li) was emotionally charged, and had chased after the MPV. She became an author of her own misfortune … this cannot be attributed to (Liu),” Mr Singh argued, suggesting that Liu’s sentence be reduced to a non-custodial one or at most, a fine.

In response, Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhong Zewei said that Liu’s account of the events was “selective and self-serving”, and that his decision to lock Ms Li out of the car and quickly drive off was “clearly a case of conscious risk-taking”.

“(Li) was standing very close to the vehicle … (Liu) took a chance with (Li’s) life,” Mr Zhong said.

Judge Imran had convicted Liu on four charges, including a rash act causing death, not amounting to homicide and failing to make a police report within 24 hours of the accident.

The High Court judge today ordered Liu to begin serving his jail sentence on May 12. He has also been disqualified from all vehicle classes for eight years.

For his crimes, Liu faced a maximum jail sentence of up to five years, with fine, or both.

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