Couple who let toddler steer car may be jailed

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 November, 2011, 12:00am
 

A couple caught on video allowing their young son to steer a car while sitting on his father's lap may be jailed, a magistrate said yesterday.

Acting Principal Magistrate Rickie Chan Kam-cheong said he was considering passing a jail term after Keith Yu Cho-kwong, 32, a property agent, pleaded guilty in Kwun Tong Court to dangerous driving and his wife Ng Lai-wa, 27, admitted aiding and abetting dangerous driving.

The two were arrested after a video appeared on YouTube showing their son holding the wheel of the BMW while his father controlled the pedals and helped the child, nearly two years old, to steer.

Saying that the crime was serious, the magistrate asked the couple why they were not represented by lawyers and whether it was because of financial strain. In reply Yu said: 'It's partly to do with money. But I also want to give some undertaking. I should assume the responsibility.'

He added that they had sought legal advice before pleading guilty.

But the magistrate was concerned whether the couple could deal with the case themselves given its seriousness and asked Yu whether he would want to seek further legal advice before the prosecutor read out the facts of the case in court. When Yu said he would, the magistrate adjourned the case to November 11. Yu and Ng were released on HK$5,000 and $3,000 bail respectively.

Yu was driving the car in Hoi Lai Street, Cheung Sha Wan, on August 1 when he let the child steer.

Officers from the special traffic investigation team for Kowloon West tracked the couple down with the help of an internet service provider and closed-circuit television images.

The prosecutor said outside court that the video was taken by the wife, and that the son was nearly two.

Dangerous driving carries a maximum penalty of a HK$10,000 fine and three years in jail. Anyone who aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission by another of any offence may be guilty of the same offence.

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