Victims' families shocked by convict's parole bid

Victims' families shocked by convict's parole bid

Janepob Veeraporn leaves the Ayutthaya Provincial Court on Nov 28, 2016 after giving testimony on a reckless driving case that killed two people. (Bangkok Post photo)
Janepob Veeraporn leaves the Ayutthaya Provincial Court on Nov 28, 2016 after giving testimony on a reckless driving case that killed two people. (Bangkok Post photo)

The Department of Corrections is processing a request for parole by Janepob Veeraporn, 41, just months after he was finally jailed for reckless driving causing the deaths of two people in a high-speed car crash in Ayutthaya in 2016.

News of the application has dismayed the families of the victims and raised questions over its legality, said Wichain Chupthaisong, a lawyer representing the families.

On March 13, 2016, Janepob was driving between 215 and 257 kilometres per hour when he rammed his Mercedes-Benz into the rear of a Ford sedan carrying two Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University post-graduate students on Phahon Yothin Road in Ayutthaya's Bang Pa-in district.

Thanthaphat Horsaengchai, 34, and Kritsana Thaworn, 32, died instantly.

Ayutthaya Provincial Court originally jailed Janepob for two and a half years for reckless driving causing death but the Appeal Court increased it last year to six years after also finding him guilty of driving under the influence of methamphetamine.

Given his cooperation with prosecutors, however, the court reduced his sentence in May to four years.

Mr Wichain said the families had received a letter from Bangkok’s 9th Probation Office asking them for their views about Janepob's parole request.

The lawyer said the families were upset about Janepob applying for parole only a few months into his four-year term and wondered why he shouldn't be made to serve at least one full year as required under standard parole regulations.

“I personally think this application is against parole regulations,” he said.

Mr Wichain said he sent a letter to the department on Monday asking for more details.

Thanthaphat's younger sister, Kanchana Horsaengchai, said she and her family would monitor the department’s handling of the request.

“We affirm our stance to make the 2016 crash the new norm in society, in which equality and justice apply equally to everyone irrespective of their financial status,” she said.

The family had made their feelings known to the legal team which assisted them in Janepob's court case, she said.

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