Road-rage TV host gets suspended jail term

Road-rage TV host gets suspended jail term

Former TV host Akanat
Former TV host Akanat "Nott" Ariyaritwikul at Yannawa police station last November when he withdrew the charge he filed against Kittisak Singto, 25, the motorcyclist who bumped into his car. (File photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Former TV host Akanat “Nott” Ariyaritwikul and a friend were given suspended jail sentences of one year each on Friday for assaulting a motorcyclist in a high-profile case of road rage late last year.

The Bangkok South Criminal Court initially sentenced Mr Akanat and Witawat Sribanditmongkol each to two years in prison. 

Their jail terms were commuted to one year because they confessed and the sentence was suspended.

Both men were ordered to perform 24 hours of social service and must report to the Probation Department every three months for one year.

Mr Akanat’s Mini Cooper sedan was sideswiped by a motorcycle ridden by Kittisak Singto, after he was knocked off balance by another vehicle, on Nov 4 last year. The TV host and his friend were charged with then colluding to injure the biker, who suffered a severely broken nose.

Public outrage grew when a video clip went viral showing Mr Akanat, who was 28 at the time, ordering the injured Mr Kittisak to prostrate himself before the Mini Cooper by way of apology. 

Mr Akanat's employers, GMMTV and ThaiPBS, soon ended their contracts with him.

Earlier, Mr Akanat and Mr Witawat agreed at arbitration to pay 180,000 baht in compensation to the plaintiff, ending their dispute in the civil court last month.

After being sentenced to social service, Mr Akanat said he wanted teach children and teenagers about anger management and how to live a conscientious life.

He said that since the road rage incident he had lived his life more carefully, and advised people to remain calm if they have a similar experience.

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