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Woman previously acquitted of reckless driving now gets six years’ jail for mowing down eight teens on JB road

Sam Ke Ting is pictured at the Johor Baru High Court April 13, 2022. — Picture by Ben Tan

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JOHOR BARU, April 13 — Sam Ke Ting was today sentenced to six years in prison by the High Court for crashing into eight teenagers riding their bicycles on a road here about five years ago.

The decision was made by High Court Judge Datuk Abu Bakar Katar after the prosecution succeeded in their second appeal against the Magistrate’s Court decision to acquit and discharge the 27-year-old woman last October last year.

Sam had been charged with reckless or dangerous driving, resulting in the death of eight cyclists on Jalan Lingkaran Dalam, Johor Baru on February 18, 2017.

Sam, a clerk, was also ordered to serve six months in prison if she did not pay a RM6,000 fine, apart from being disqualified from driving for three years effective after the completion of her prison sentence.

In his judgment, Abu Bakar said the Magistrate’s Court has erred in failing to decide the respondent’s defence without being under oath.

“The respondent, in her defence, stated that she did not see the group of cyclists at the scene of incident and there were other vehicle that hit the deceased bicycles and drove away. This version had never been raised by the respondent during the prosecution case.

“The Magistrate’s Court made a mistake when it accepted the respondent’s defence for not knowing there would be ‘basikal lajak’ activity during the time of the incident as an excuse to drive dangerously, which resulted in the victims’ deaths.

“The respondent should have drove carefully instead driving fast, causing the incident and she should have realised that the area’s lighting was not bright at around 3.20am,” he said before sentencing.

Sam had earlier appeared at the Johor Baru High Court compound at about 9am wearing a white striped shirt and brown long pants. She looked calm after the sentence was handed down.

Defence counsel Muhammad Faizal Mokhtar urged the High Court to grant a stay of execution on Sam as they would be appealing the case at the Court of Appeal.

However, Abu Bakar rejected Sam’s appeal for stay of execution as they have yet to receive approval from the Court of Appeal.

Johor prosecution director Tengku Amir Zaki Tengku Abd Rahman and deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Syafiq Mohd Ghazali prosecuted the case.

On October 10 last year, the Johor Baru Magistrate’s Court upheld the decision of the accused to be acquitted and acquitted of the charges which occurred on February 18, 2017.

Based on the charge sheet, Sam who at the time of the incident was 22-years-old, was accused of driving a car with registration number JQB 9984 along Jalan Lingkaran Dalam recklessly or dangerously resulting in the death of eight cyclists at 3.20am.

The eight victims involved were Mohamad Azrie Danish Zulkefli, 14 (at the time of the incident); Muhamad Shahrul Izzwan Azzuraimie, 14; Muhammad Firdauz Danish Mohd Azhar, 16; Fauzan Halmijan, 13; Mohamad Azhar Amir, 16; Muhammad Harith Iskandar Abdullah, 14; Muhammad Shahrul Nizam Marudin, 14 and Haizad Kasrin, 16.

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