Drunk Hong Kong driver jailed after killing motorcyclist and claiming to be triad member

Judge noted that accused also threatened another driver at the scene, claiming he was a gangster, in order to make a run for it

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 July, 2017, 8:32am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 July, 2017, 8:32am

A drunk driver who knocked down and killed a motorcyclist last year – and hijacked another vehicle by saying he was a triad member while fleeing the scene – was jailed for three years and four months on Thursday.

District Court judge Eddie Yip Chor-man said Kwok Pak-lam, who had previously been convicted of traffic offences, had driven drunk for 11 kilometres before the fatal accident on August 16.

Kwok exceeded the speed limit by up to 52km/h moments before the collision on the Tsing Kwai Highway, the judge said.

Alleged Hong Kong gang member hijacks passing car to escape scene of fatal crash

The judge noted that Kwok even threatened another driver at the scene, claiming he was a gangster, in order to make a run for it. “He did not care whether the motorcyclist was dead or alive,” he said.

These were all aggravating factors, Chor said before sending Kwok to jail and suspending his driving licence for 10 years. He specifically told the defendant that he would have to resit his driving test before being allowed to take to the road again.

The 38-year-old driver pleaded guilty to five charges last month – dangerous driving causing death, claiming to be a member of a triad society, failing to stop for an accident, failing to report to police after an accident and driving an unlicensed vehicle.

The court heard Kwok was racing at 132km/h on the 80km/h highway on the day.

The motorcyclist, the court was told, was sent flying from his vehicle, while Kwok’s car caught fire.

He stopped another car passing by and forced the driver to take him away. He was arrested 36 hours later.

Videos which captured how the fatal crash happened surfaced on the internet shortly after the incident last year. A man who appeared to be Kwok was seen threatening the driver of another vehicle, saying he belonged to the Wo Shing Wo triad society. He told the man to drive off after getting into his car.

In mitigation earlier, his lawyer said Kwok had since made donations to World Vision and become an organ donor. The lawyer said alcohol had clouded Kwok’s judgment, but the judge rejected this, saying that drink should be seen as an aggravating factor.

Yip earlier said he would not forgive what Kwok had done, and that he was keen to impose a jail sentence close to the District Court maximum of seven years.

He also said Kwok’s crime was more serious than others who claimed to be triad members.

“Even bullying and blackmailing for money would have been better in comparison. This is a life,” he said.