Officer who killed eye doctor at Bangkok Zebra crossing sentenced to prison

The crowd control police officer who killed an ophthalmologist with his motorbike at a zebra crossing in Bangkok in January, has been sentenced to prison today. The officer will serve a 1 year and 15 day prison sentence and pay a 4,000 baht fine. He has been charged with 9 different counts.

On January 21 this year, 21 year old Pol L/C Norawich Buadok struck and killed Dr. Waraluck Supawatjariyakul with his Ducati motorbike at a pedestrian crossing in Ratchathewi, Bangkok. He was travelling between 108 – 128 kilometres per hour on a road with an 80 kmh speed limit.

Today at 9am, the Criminal Court sentenced Norawich to one year and 15 days in prison without parole and a 4,000 baht fine. Norawich was found guilty of nine counts…

  1. Driving a vehicle without a licence plate.
  2. Using a vehicle with unpaid annual registration tax.
  3. Using a vehicle without third-party damage insurance.
  4. Using a vehicle which lacked equipment e.g. wing mirrors.
  5. Failing to keep motorcycle in the left lane.
  6. Speeding.
  7. Driving without consideration of the safety of others.
  8. Not following road markings.
  9. Reckless driving causing injury to people or property and reckless driving causing death.

The court confiscated the officer’s motorcycle and suspended the officer’s driving licence for a period of time at the discretion of the court. The officer was temporarily released on bail for 50,000 baht and will now be imprisoned for a period of one year and 15 days, without parole.

Norawich temporarily ordained as a monk to make merit for Dr Waraluck, sparking outrage among members of the public, criticising him for ‘praying away his sins’. Sittha Moonhong from the National Office of Buddhism says that someone facing criminal charges should never enter the monkhood.

Following the incident back in January, safety advocates pressured the government to make changes to the law so that those who caused death while violating pedestrian safety rules would be charged with manslaughter.

SOURCE: KomChadLuek

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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