COURTS

Boy pleaded guilty to crashing car into taxi - without telling parents

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 October, 2012, 3:36am

A teenager took his father's company car out for a joyride, crashed into a parked taxi in Pok Fu Lam and pleaded guilty in court last week - all without his family's knowledge.

Yesterday, when 16-year-old Fahim Khan was due to be sentenced, lawyers hired by his wealthy family finally stepped in to ask for a postponement of the sentencing in order to have time to submit more evidence.

His new defence lawyer, veteran barrister Andrew Bruce, told the South China Morning Post outside court: "He's 16. Do you remember when you were 16? … He was feeling depressed [and] in love with a girl who lives in another country, and he did a really stupid thing."

Fahim's father, Ikram Khan, is founder and managing director of the Shun Shing Group, an international trading and investment company with offices in mainland China, Southeast Asia and India.

Fahim, who studies at the English Schools Foundation's West Island School, attended his first hearing last Thursday represented by a duty lawyer he had found through the government's Free Legal Advice Scheme.

Without telling his family that he was standing trial, Fahim pleaded guilty to charges of careless driving, taking a car without authority and driving without a licence or third-party insurance.

At his second court hearing yesterday, he had the help of family lawyers. Magistrate Symon Wong Yu-wing rescheduled the sentencing hearing to November 19, and ordered psychiatric and probation reports.

He also extended Fahim's bail, with the added provision that the defendant could not drive any vehicle during that period. "I might ask for a community service report or a background report [but] I am prepared to explore other sentencing options," Wong said. Bruce said: "That means a training centre or a detention centre sentence is still on the table."

A lawyer from law firm A.M. Mui & Kwan spoke on behalf of the family, saying: "It is unfortunate that we were brought in at this late stage."