Our roads no film set, judge says

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 May, 2012, 12:00am


A judge told a banned driver who led police on a wild car chase around Yuen Long that such driving should only be seen on a cinema screen, before jailing him for almost five years.

Ngai Sing-keung, who had already been banned from driving and was on bail for an earlier traffic offence, sped off when a policewoman stopped him for using his mobile phone while operating his vehicle.

As police gave chase, he hit speeds of up to 100km/h, drove into oncoming traffic, ignored traffic signals, weaved between vehicles and drove onto a pedestrian walkway, forcing bystanders to flee.

His antics came to an end when he smashed into a container, the District Court heard.

Judge Douglas Yau Tak-hong sentenced the 24-year-old to four years and eight months in jail, suspended him from driving for six years and ordered him to complete a driver's improvement course. He must also pay HK$17,000 for repairs to two taxis he damaged.

Ngai had earlier pleaded guilty to 12 charges including dangerous driving, dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm, driving while disqualified, driving without third-party insurance, speeding, criminal damage, obstructing a police officer and possession of drugs.

Judge Yau said the details of the case 'caused one's head to spin'.

'The defendant's driving should only be seen in movies, not in reality,' he said.

'He had no regard whatsoever for the safety of other road users, of the police giving chase or the pedestrians on the streets. All he had in mind was trying to get away.'

Ngai had already been banned in 2010 for dangerous driving. On July 9 last year police saw him doing 144km/h in a 100km/h zone in Shek Wu Wai, Yuen Long. Later, Ngai crashed into a taxi. He then tore the number plates off his car and fled, kicking the door of another taxi when he found it locked. He was arrested later.

On August 10 Ngai was back behind the wheel while on bail. After a policewoman stopped him for talking on his phone, he drove off, injuring the woman when one of his car mirrors clipped her.

She followed him for half an hour after getting into her vehicle before losing him. But another patrol later spotted him and gave chase as Ngai weaved through traffic, crossed double white lines and drove onto the pavement, forcing several pedestrians to run for their lives.

At one point he braked sharply, causing a police motorcyclist behind him to crash into his car. The officer suffered head injuries and three broken ribs and spent eight days in hospital.

Police found electronic scales in his car containing traces of cocaine.

Police arrested Ngai the day after the second incident at the Lok Ma Chau railway station as he was trying to leave the city.

The judge said it was fortunate Ngai did not hurt more people.