IPOH (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A scrap metal worker was sentenced to death by the High Court here for killing an 18-month-old boy after his car mowed into a wedding ceremony in Gopeng two years ago.
C.S. Senguttuwan, 30, was also sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment under Section 307 of the Penal Code for attempted murder against two other guests at the wedding.
The jail term will run concurrently from the date of his arrest on June 3, 2013.
Senguttuwan was charged for causing the death of T. Thamilarasan on May 25, 2013, at about 11pm at Jalan Utama Kg Tersusun, Kopisan Baru, Gopeng.
He faced two other charges under Section 307, for knocking down S. Punjala, 56, and S. Tarmenthiran, three, with his vehicle at the same time and date.
In her judgment, Judicial Commissioner Noorin Badarudin said the defence failed to raise a reasonable doubt.
"Therefore the court finds you guilty for both the offences under Section 302 and 307 of the Penal Code," she said.
Noorin said the court could not accept the defence that the accused had failed to see people inside the canopy.
She said the canopy was brightly lit, and it was impossible that the accused did not see anyone inside.
She said the reason that the accused was fleeing, that he was afraid of the police as they had abused him during his previous detention, was unacceptable.
"There was criminal intent. It was not an act of negligence, but there is a deliberate act to it," she added.
During mitigation for the attempted murder charges, counsel Charan Singh said his client was married with a young child, and that there were no permanent injuries to the two victims.
For the murder charge, Charan Singh said he would file for an appeal.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Harris Ong Mohd Jeffery Ong asked for a heavy sentence as he said it was a case of public interest.
According to the facts of the case, police were carrying out an operation when they bumped into a car driven by the accused in Gopeng, who was on the wanted list for rioting.
When the accused realised the presence of the police, he sped off with the police chasing him.
The accused had stopped his car in front of the wedding reception and had switched off the lights of the car.
When he realised that the police car was following him, he tried fleeing by restarting the engine of his car, but rammed into the canopy twice.