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Police motorcyclist gets 1 year, 15 days jail

The Criminal Court on Monday sentenced motorcyclist Pol L/Cpl Norawich Buadok, 21, to one year and 15 days in jail without suspension for running over and killing ophthalmologist Waraluck Supawatjariyakul on a zebra crossing in Bangkok three months ago.

The court was told that Pol L/Cpl Norawich, of the Metropolitan Police Bureau’s Protection and Crowd Control Division, was driving the Ducati Monster big bike that hit Dr Waraluck, of the faculty of medicine at Chulalongkorn University, on a pedestrian crossing on Phaya Thai Road in Ratchathewi district, on Jan 21. She died of her injuries.

Waraluck was a popular member of the faculty, known as Mor Kratai from her nickname, Kratai, or “Rabbit”.

Pol L/Cpl Norawich was found to be driving at 108-128 kilometres per hour, well above the 80kph speed limit.

He was charged with nine counts: driving a vehicle with no licence plate, using a vehicle without paying the registration fee, having no third-party insurance, driving a vehicle with no side mirrors, failing to keep to the left lane, speeding, driving without due regard for safety, failure to comply with traffic signs, and reckless driving causing death.

Pol L/Cpl Norawich confessed to the charges. He was released on 50,000 baht bail.

He appeared before the court to hear the ruling.

The court found him guilty as charged and sentenced him to a total of one year and 15 days imprisonment without suspension

The court initially sentenced him to two years and 30 days in prison and fines of 8,000 baht.

He was fined 2,000 baht on each of four minor charges – driving a vehicle with no licence plate, using a vehicle without paying the registration fee, having no third-party insurance, and driving a vehicle with no side mirrors.

He was jailed for 15 days for speeding and for driving without due regard for safety. He was sentenced to two years for reckless driving causing death.

The sentences were commuted to one year and 15 days in prison and 4,000 baht in fines because he confessed.

The court was considering an application for bail pending appeal. His father used his police sub-lieutenant’s rank as guarantor.

Waraluck’s family, prominent opththalmologists, have filed a 72 million baht civil lawsuit against the Royal Thai Police Office, as the first defendant, and against Pol L/Cpl Norawich  over their daughter’s death. They charge that Pol L/Cpl Norawich was on duty at the time and the Royal Thai Police Office is therefore responsible.

Thailand has the second-highest traffic fatality rate in the world, according to a 2018 World Health Organisation report.

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