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Prison term increase for rider who killed doctor on Bangkok pedestrian crossing

PHOTO: Coconuts

An off-duty police officer who killed a woman on a pedestrian crossing by ploughing into her on his motorbike has had his prison term increased. The case hit the headlines in January 2022, highlighting the dangers of using pedestrian crossings in Thailand, with many motorists ignoring them.

Dr. Waraluck Supawatjariyakul, an eye doctor at Rajavithi Hospital, was using a pedestrian crossing in the Phaya Thai district of the capital when she was struck by Norawit Buadok’s speeding Ducati bike. Both she and Norawit were injured in the incident, but Dr Waraluck subsequently passed away from her injuries.

There was uproar in the aftermath of the young doctor’s death, with calls for better safety for people using pedestrian crossings.

Initially, Norawit was found guilty of speeding and reckless driving, among other charges, and sentenced to just 1 year and 15 days without suspension at the Criminal Court.

However, the prosecutor appealed the sentence, calling for higher penalties for the defendant. Meanwhile, Norawit’s lawyers were attempting to have the prison sentence suspended.

The Appeals Court has now ruled that the fact that the offence was committed by a police officer makes it even more serious, given the police’s role of enforcing the law and ensuring public safety.

Taking this into account, it was decided that the sentence handed down by the Criminal Court was too lenient and did not reflect the seriousness of the crime. As a result, the prison term has been increased to 10 years and 2 months and commuted to 5 years.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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