You committed 'ultimate traffic offence': Judge

You have practically almost wiped out an entire family.

District Judge Low Wee Ping yesterday said this to Toh Cheng Yang, whose multi-purpose vehicle ploughed into a stationary vehicle on the Central Expressway (CTE), killing four people.

The victims were Singaporean trainee pilot Amron Ayoub, 23, his South Korean girlfriend, Miss Song Jisoo, 24, and her parents, Madam Kim Mee-Kyung, 53, and Mr Song Jungwoo, 55.

For causing death by dangerous driving, Toh, 36, was given the maximum sentence of five years in jail and a driving ban of 20 years.

The former logistics operations director was also sentenced to three months' jail for driving under the influence of drugs. It will run concurrently with his five-year jail term.

In delivering his judgment, Judge Low called the accident "the ultimate traffic offence".

He told Toh: "You also committed one of the most reprehensible traffic offences. You drove under the influence of drugs. You had five to 15 times the therapeutic level of nitrazepam (a prescription tranquiliser). It was more than twice the amount which would produce toxicity."

He went on to explain why he had decided to impose the maximum penalty for the charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

"I know I used the term 'worst case' for a maximum sentence at the last hearing. That is incorrect because if we keep on imagining whether this would be the worst case, we would never come to a conclusion," he said.

Adding that he took into account the key mitigating factor of the "timely plea of guilt", Judge Low said: "This court has therefore come to the conclusion that your case and your culpability is one of the most serious and therefore falls within the band of cases for which a maximum sentence should be imposed."

Toh's lawyer, Mr Abdul Hamid Sultan, told the court that his client would be lodging an appeal, but would not seek bail.

This article was first published on June 20, 2015.
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