Bus stop rage driver's sentence cut
- Published: 5/03/2013 at 05:15 PM
- Online news:
The Appeals Court has reduced the prison sentence handed down to the son of a former Miss Thailand, who rammed his car into a crowded bus stop six years ago, killing one woman and injuring several other people.
In this file photo taken in Jan 2009, Kanpitak Patchimsawat, or Mu Ham, left, accompanied by his father Kan-anek, wais reporters at the provincial court in Phra Khanong district. (KOSOL NAKACHOL)
Kanpitak Pachimsawat, 24, better known by his nickname "Mu Ham", was charged with premeditated murder, attempted murder and physical assault in connection with the July 4, 2007 incident.
The defendant is the son of former Miss Thailand Sawinee Pakaranang and businessman Kan-anek Pachimsawat.
He droved his Mercedes Benz sedan into a crowd waiting at a bus stop in Bangkok's Watthana district on July 4, 2007, killing one woman and grieviously injuring two other people, following a quarrel with the driver of a bus.
The bus driver accused him of deliberately side-swiping his vehicle with his Mercedes-Benz car in heavy traffic. The case caused much public outrage.
In 2009, the Phra Khanong provincial court sentenced Kanpitak to 10 years and a month in jail, rejecting the claim made by his family that he could not control himself as he suffered from mental problems.
The court blamed Kanpitak's upbringing and said the parents had contributed to his bad conduct.
The Appeals Court ruling was read out in the Phra Khanong provincial court on Tuesday.
The judges ruled the defendant’s appeal to be “partially convincing”. The court said that during the act of committing murder, the defendant was being irresponsible and was unable to control himself because he had a mental illness.
The court decided to reduce Kanpitak's jail term. It initially reduced the prison sentence to three years, and then further reduced it by a third to two years on the grounds that the defendant had paid compensation that satisfied the injured parties and family of the deceased, and that the plaintiffs did not want to file civil and criminal cases against him.
The judges said the conclusion about the defendant's mental state while committing the crime had been drawn after they discussed the issue with Kanpitak’s physician and other medical experts including psychologists, social workers, clinical psychologists and nurses.
The meeting concluded the defendant was mentally ill and had suffered from seizures since he was a child. He suffered a bipolar disorder which affected his ability to control himself when he was angry. Therefore the defendant’s actions were involuntarily.
As a result, the penalty on the premeditated murder conviction should be reduced, the court said.
On the assault charge, Kanpitak was sentenced to one month in prison, suspended for two years. The court ordered him to report to probation officers and undergo psychiatric treatment for his mental impairment.
After the accident, Kanpitak was released on bail after his family placed a six milion baht land title deed as security.
His bail was continued on Tuesday. It was not reported whether or not his lawyer indicated they would further appeal the sentence to the Supreme Court.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters