Minister: Killer driver qualified for parole

Minister: Killer driver qualified for parole

Janepob Veeraporn is at the Ayutthaya provincial court in Ayutthaya province in 2017. (Photo Sunthorn Pongpao)
Janepob Veeraporn is at the Ayutthaya provincial court in Ayutthaya province in 2017. (Photo Sunthorn Pongpao)

Killer driver Janepob Veeraporn is entitled to seek parole but if victims' families oppose it, officials will take it into consideration, says Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin.

The minister referred to the report that the Department of Corrections was considering the parole request by luxury car import company heir Janepob, 41.

On March 13, 2016, the man was driving between 215- 257 kilometres an 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.

Mr Somsak said that Janepob was sentenced to four years and the punishment was reduced by a quarter to three years by a mass royal pardon this year.

From May 8 last year when he was imprisoned to Wednesday, Janepob served one year, three months and 28 days.

His remaining jail term was one year, eight months and seven days, or until May 8, 2022, making him eligible for the penalty suspension due to good behaviours on Oct 1 next year, the minister said.

Every year, the Department of Corrections approves parole for prisoners with good behaviours whose remaining time do not exceed one-fifth of their full terms.

To prepare for his parole, officials at the Ayutthaya prison asked the Probation Office Bangkok 9 to check whether the relatives of the two victims oppose the suspension and have been compensated.

The relatives of a victim in this case opposed the suspension request and relevant officials would have to consider carefully if Janepob deserves it, Mr Somsak said.

Criteria for parole included the impacts of the wrongdoer on damaged parties and society and compensation for damaged parties, Mr Somsak said.

Ayutthaya Provincial Court originally jailed Janepob for 2½ years for reckless driving causing death but the Appeal Court last year increased it to six years, reduced to four because he cooperated, after also finding him guilty of driving under the influence of methamphetamine. 

The Supreme Court upheld the Appeal Court's sentence in June.

Witthawan Soonthornkhajit, director-general of the Department of Probation, said that Thanthapat's family received 9 million baht in damages while Kritsana's family got 8 million baht.

Thanthapat's mother did not oppose the suspension but Kritsana's family had yet to give the answer, he said.

A parole sub-committee could arrange for both sides to negotiate and if the affected family was not threatened or harassed, the prisoner has the right to apply for the suspension, Mr Witthawan said.

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