Ex-policeman jailed over crash

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 January, 2008, 12:00am

A former senior police constable who left the scene after crashing a taxi has been jailed for a month for asking a friend to pretend he was at the wheel.

Magistrate Winston Leung Wing-chung accepted that Chan Wing-kai, 50, had acted out of desperation in a momentary lapse but said a deterrent jail term was required.

Eastern Court heard earlier that Chan had been driving the taxi in his spare time without permission, in breach of police rules.

The ex-policeman, who had denied a charge of acting with an intent to pervert the course of justice but was convicted on January 17, is now a full-time taxi driver. He accepted compulsory retirement after admitting dangerous driving and failing to stop after an accident stemming from the crash in August 2005, in which he jumped a red light and hit two vehicles before driving off.

The court heard that he had asked a friend, also a taxi driver, to stand in for him but had turned himself in after the friend refused.

Mr Leung said even though Chan had confessed it was more serious and unforgivable for a serving policeman to obstruct justice. He said Chan had fallen from grace after he picked up a gambling habit and was in serious debt at the time.

He hoped a short jail term would serve as a deterrent.